A four-goal second period paced the Guelph Storm to a 7-3 win over the London Knights on Tuesday night at Budweiser Gardens.
The Knights and the Storm sit 1-2 in the Midwest Division and have now played two lopsided games in the past two weeks. London toppled the Storm 6-1 on Feb. 13.
Knights forward Cole Tymkin felt that there were a few things that got away from the Knights.
“When [we get behind], we have to stick to our systems,” said Tymkin. “We kind of ran away from them tonight, and it cost us a couple of goals and we want to fix that up, for sure.”
London will get a chance to do that when the teams meet one final time in the regular season on March 13 in Guelph.
Tymkin also felt the Knights needed to do a better job with the puck in their own end.
“[Guelph] is gritty in the corners. We have to come out of the corners with the puck and not throw it away. We need to make plays with it,” he said.
The Knights built a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Tymkin and Kevin Hancock, who scored his 49th of the season, but Guelph stole a little momentum away when they scored a goal with 21.6 seconds remaining in the first period.
Tymkin admitted after the game that was a significant turning point.
“We definitely would have been a lot of confident doing into the second period with a two-goal lead. We just have to work to crack down at the end of periods to shut [teams] down.”
The Storm outshot the Knights 41-35.
The game against Guelph finished a stretch of 11 games in 20 days for London.
The Knights will now head out on the road for three games against Kitchener, Hamilton and Erie. They will return home on Friday, March 8 against Flint. At that point, they will have five games to go in their regular season schedule.
The Knights lead the Soo Greyhounds by four points and the Saginaw Spirit by six for first place in the Western Conference.
The Greyhounds and the Spirit will play in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday night.
Just 1:16 into the game, the Knights took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Tymkin. The Rainy River native pivoted inside the blue line and flung a puck at the Guelph net just as London’s Alex Formenton was gliding through the crease. The puck found its way in, and the Knights had the very early lead.
Hancock hit 49 goals and 99 points on a power play to make it 2-0 London with just over five minutes left in the opening period.
With under 30 seconds to go, Liam Hawel knocked in a pass from behind the Knight net, and Guelph took a bit of momentum away from London and into the dressing room.
The Storm built more momentum in the second period and got two goals from Sean Durzi and singles from Isaac Ratcliffe and Mackenzie Entwistle to lead 5-2 after 40 minutes.
The Knights’ 50-goal/100-point club
Hancock is just one goal and one point shy of 50 goals and 100 points in 2018-19. He scored 31 of those goals and added 31 assists with the Owen Sound Attack but would sit as the first player to hit the 50 and 100 marks in a Knights uniform since Christian Dvorak did it in 2015-16. Twelve players have hit 50 goals and 100 points in the history of the Knights franchise: Dave Simpson, Dino Ciccarelli, Dennis Ververgaert, Dennis Maruk, Dave Lowry, Patrick Kane, Rob Schremp, Dave Bolland, Jason Allison, Reg Thomas, Chris Taylor and Dvorak. Simpson is the all-time single-season leader in points with 155 in 1981-82. Ciccarelli set the single-season record for goals with 72 in 1977-78.
London will be on the road for their next three games, playing three times in three days in three different cities. The Knights will go to Kitchener on Friday night with a chance to sweep the six-game season series against the Rangers. London has outscored Kitchener 23-7 in the first five meetings between the teams. After that, London will play in Hamilton on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Knights and Bulldogs met for the first time this season last Friday at Budweiser Gardens, and London won 4-2. The Knights will then finish off their trip in Erie on Sunday at 4 p.m.