|Knights with convincing win
on home ice prolong series
Last season when the Knights were up against elimination in the second round, the game nearly went into the next day. The Erie Otters won in overtime, and it closed the book on the Knights history in the Ice House, a series that saw the Knights draw identical sellouts of 5,045 each and every game. Charlie Stephens tied the game late on a Rick Nash feed, now in 2003, the Knights play in a home which has proven to be significantly less friendly in the postseason, and though they have drawn impressively the Knights do had an ugly 1-4 record on home ice during this postseason entering the game. Stephens is gone, as is Nash, though he was there in more than spirit to support the Knights, live video of Rick Nash attending the game was greeted with thunderous applause. The Knights whom have been miracle makers in their recent past, didn't need lady luck on their side in this game.
Ryan Hare opened the scoring, dipping in on Drew and scoring a goal that Paul Drew must have wanted to have back. Moments later Daniel Bois deflected a Mike Stathopoulos pass through the legs of Drew while on the powerplay and the goal proved to supercharge the super-crowd of 8,875. Another 5 minutes later after killing off penalties of their own Kyle Quincey turned the game into a rout while the Knights were on yet another man-advantage. Rick Steadman scored late in the period unassisted giving the Knights a 4-0 lead.
The Knights scorers closed shop early when Stathopoulos beat Jeff Weber whom had come in to replace the veteran netminder after a miserable first period. Though the Knights last goal occured with 34:05 remaining in regulation, they had done more than enough damage in the time leading up to that. Jeff Weber, formerly of the Soo Greyhounds stopped 13 of 14 as the Whalers started to turn things around, but only managed a powerplay goal at the close of the second period off of the stick of: Jonas Fiedler.
Official: Scott Hutchinson struggled throughout the game to retain control of the game, and the idea of logical flow was completely missing. Both the Knights and Whalers failed to score while on extended 5-on-3's, in both instances the second penalties assessed were extremely marginal. Things understandibly got very nasty in the third period, one fight broke out between London's Chris Bain and Plymouth's David Liffton. Even highly regarded forward Corey Perry got in on the action, he took on former Ranger: Jimmy Gagnon who was aggitating the Knights all game long, primarily with stick work. After taking some wicked spears infront of the Plymouth net, Dylan Hunter took a five-minute slashing major. By game's end both benches were noticably short due to misconducts and such.
In 1999, the Knights also trailed the Whalers
3-2 going into a game 6 in London in the second round. The Knights
won convincingly on home ice and then a parade of London Knights fans proceeded
down the 401 to Plymouth where they also won on the way to a 7 game OHL
final series with the Belleville Bulls.
Special thanks to: Duct Tape
for the excellent game night photography.