May 11, 2012

London Knights look to punch ticket to Memorial Cup

By Jesse Connolly

The London Knights find themselves just a win away from punching their ticket to the Memorial Cup, as they'll enter Game 5 of the OHL championship holding a 3-1 series lead over the Niagara Ice Dogs. 

Bruins prospect and London Knights forward Jared Knight has been hampered by an ankle injury. (Getty Images)

London dropped the series opener in double overtime but has since rattled off three straight wins. Despite getting out-shot by a 37-21 margin in Game 4 on Wednesday night, the Knights earned a 4-1 victory.

London goalie Michael Houser stopped 36-of-37 to earn the win. Ryan Rupert, who had a hat trick in Game 2, notched a goal and an assist in the Game 4 victory. He's now in a three-way tie for the team lead in playoff goals with nine tallies in 18 postseason contests.

Bruins prospect Jared Knight has been plagued by a nagging ankle injury and was reportedly a game-time decision for Game 3. He has just one point thus far in the series and a line of 4-4-8 in 15 playoff contests. He is the lone London player with a negative plus-minus rating (minus-2) in the playoffs.

Fellow B's prospect Dougie Hamilton had four points in the first two tilts of the series (one goal, three assists), including the winning tally in double overtime of Game 1, but has been held without a point in the last two contests.

The winner of the series will begin Memorial Cup play against the Saint John Sea Dogs, the champions of the QMJHL, on May 19.

Former BU Terrier Charlie Coyle had 15 goals and 19 assists for a total of 34 points in 17 playoff games for Saint John, tying Stanislav Galiev for the team lead. The East Weymouth, Mass., native was named tournament MVP for his efforts.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.