London Knights end eight straight games on the road with 7-4 loss to Guelph Storm

16 Mar 2023 | Sports | 17 |
London Knights end eight straight games on the road with 7-4 loss to Guelph Storm

A pair of goals from both Michael Buchinger and Max Namestnikov helped the Guelph Storm to defeat the London Knights 7-4 on Wednesday night at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ont.

The Storm came out flying and connected three times in the opening period on goals by Namestnikov, Chandler Romeo and Valentin Zhugin.

Namestnikov used to sit inside Budweiser Gardens and watch his brother Vladislav play for the Knights and always seems to save some extra for games against London. Namestnikov has six point in six games against the Knights this year. He has 20 points in 13 games against London in his OHL career.

The first penalty of the game didn’t come until the 2:22 mark of the second period and it produced another goal for Guelph on the ensuing power play as Cooper Walker willed the puck through a scramble in front for his 17th goal of the season.

That left the Knights down 4-0 with 14:44 remaining in the second period.

London erased that deficit in a span of four minutes and 42 seconds.

Connor Federkow had a puck go off his leg and past Storm goalie Patrick Leaver at 7:02.

Isaiah George buried a wrist shot from the top of the left circle just over two minutes later to make it 4-2.

London went to a 5-on-3 power play and Ryan Winterton ripped a shot from the left side of the Guelph zone into an open side with one second to go in the first Guelph penalty so the Knights cut the Storm lead to a single goal and remained on the man advantage. That allowed London co-captain Sean McGurn to tie it with his 25th goal of the year on a wrist shot from just off the right side boards.

All of that had the game knotted at 4-4.

Guelph got back in front with 56 seconds left in the second period when Braeden Bowman found Namestnikov in front of the net and he buried his second of the game and 33rd goal of the season.

London pushed to tie the game in the third period but three late penalties paved the way for both of Buchinger’s goals on a wrist shot and then a slap shot and sealed the win for the Storm. Buchinger now has 60 points on the season.

Walker ended the game with a goal and three assists and was named the game’s first star.

Oliver Bonk had three assists for the Knights. McGurn ended the night with a goal and two assists. He leads London with 78 points on the season.

The teams effectively split the six-game season series with three victories apiece, two regulation losses and one loss in overtime.

Wilson was a 15th round pick of the Knights in 2022. He was selected 287th overall but he is number one in playoff stats among rookie goalies in the Provincial Junior Hockey League.

Wilson led the Port Dover Sailors to a four-game sweep of the Dunnville Mudcats. WIlson helped wrap up the series with a 60-save 1-0 shutout in Game 4. The Hamilton, Ont., native gave up just seven goals total in the series.

Wilson had an excellent regular season with a .919 save percentage and a 2.80 goals against average in 16 appearances.

Jaden Cholette is also coming off a playoff shutout in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Cholette was taken in the sixth round of the 2022 OHL Priority Selection and has spent most of this season with the EOJHL’s Arnpior Packers. Cholette appeared in 20 games in the regular season and while he has been backing up so far in the playoffs, the 17-year old from Gloucester, Ont., played the entirety of Game 4 of a semi-final series against the Smiths Falls Bears and stopped all 34 shots he faced for a key victory.

Arnprior is now on the EOJHL final against the Perth Blue Wings. Cholette has also played three games in the Central Canada Hockey League with the Nepean Raiders.

The Knights return home to Budweiser Gardens for the first time since Friday, Feb. 24 to face the Kingston Frontenacs on St. Patrick’s Day at 7 p.m.

London defeated the Frontenacs 3-2 in a shootout on Jan. 28 in Kingston, Ont., that had a very familiar finish. Three saves from Brett Brochu and the only goal by George Diaco gave London the victory.

The Frontenacs are one point behind the Oshawa Generals for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Coverage begins at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

by 980 CFPL