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Sports

Memorial Cup: Goaltending debate for Knights as round robin wraps up

Tuesday, May 20, 2014   by: Brad Coccimiglio

LONDON, ONT. - The London Knights are heading into their most important game of the season on Wednesday night and who will start in goal could be up in the air.

After a 5-2 loss to the Western League champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings, on Sunday night, the Knights were tight-lipped Tuesday morning as to whether they would go back to Anthony Stolarz on Wednesday or Sault native Jake Patterson against the Guelph Storm with their season on the line.

“To be honest, by the time we got in today, watched the tape of last night’s game  and clipped it for video and headed to practice, we haven’t even really discussed it yet,” said Knights assistant coach Jeff Paul.

Following their practice Tuesday afternoon, Patterson told media that the goaltenders didn't know who was starting at that point.

Patterson entered the 2013 tournament in Saskatoon under similar circumstances. The veteran netminder eventually played in four tournament games, helping the Knights to the semi-final where they fell to the Western League’s Portland Winterhawks.

Reports surfaced late Tuesday afternoon that the Knights planned to start Stolarz though the Knights had not officially released the news.

In Tuesday's tournament action, the Val-d'Or Foreurs (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) clinched a berth in the semi-final with a 4-3 double overtime win over the Edmonton Oil Kings (Western Hockey League).

Edmonton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Reid Petryk and Curtis Lazar. Shawn Ouellet-St. Armand got Val-d'Or on the board on a deflection later in the opening period.

Pierre-Maxime Poudrier tied the game for the Foreurs with the lone goal of the second period.

“We didn’t think we had a particularly great second period,” said Oil Kings coach Derek Laxdal. “We got away from our game a little bit.”

Henrik Samuelsson put the Oil Kings ahead at 5:36 of the final period when he found himself in alone on Val-d'Or goaltender Antoine Bibeau. Samuel Henley tied the game for Val-d'Or with 4:10 left in regulation time to force overtime.

After a scoreless first overtime period, Anthony Richard scored on a breakaway 1:15 into the second overtime frame to lift the Foreurs to the victory.

“It was a team effort tonight,” said Mario Durocher, coach of the Foreurs.

“The more the game went on, the more we were able to match their intensity,” Durocher said .Offensively, we were creating more.”

Foreurs goaltender Antoine Bibeau stopped 47 shots in the win.

“What hasn’t been said already (about him),” said defenceman Randy Gazzola. “Everybody knows he’s our MVP and he’s the reason why we’re here. He’s been tremendous for us.”

The Oil Kings can still advance directly to the semi-final depending on the outcome of the Guelph-London game Wednesday night. A Guelph win puts the Oil Kings in the semi against Val-d'Or. A London win and the Oil Kings will face the Knights Thursday in the tie-breaker game.

****
STANDINGS

Guelph: 2-0
Val-d'Or: 2-1
Edmonton: 1-2
London: 0-2

FULL SCHEDULE

Round-Robin Game 1 – May 16: Val-d’Or 1, London 0
Round-Robin Game 2 – May 17: Guelph 5, Edmonton 2
Round-Robin Game 3 – May 18: Edmonton 5, London 2
Round-Robin Game 4 – May 19: Guelph 6, Val-d’Or 3
Round-Robin Game 5 – May 20: Val-d’Or 4, Edmonton 3 (2OT)
Round-Robin Game 6 – May 21: London vs. Guelph
Tie-Breaker (if necessary) – May 22
Semi-Final – May 23
Championship – May 25

Comments
9
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
dogi 5/21/2014 12:33:33 AM Report

Anthony Stolarz was suspended for 8 games during the playoffs but I believe he has only served 7. Why has he been allowed to play? I forgot he plays for the London Knights.
CB4 5/21/2014 12:49:32 AM Report

Anyone want to explain this format, its flawed ? If Guelph beats London, they are 3-0, London 0-3, Val dor, 2-1, Edmonton, 1-2. Val dor should go right to the final ? Possible tie breaker, then semi final game, makes no sense, is this about money ? Guelph is in the final already
CB4 5/21/2014 1:13:14 AM Report

Guelph could be 2-1 tomorrow, Valdor is 2-1, yet Guelph is in the final already, dumb.
brucey22 5/21/2014 2:33:13 AM Report

The reason Guelph has qualified for the final is because they beat Val Dor head to head... c'mon guys
sinikka 5/21/2014 7:59:58 AM Report

What the london organization has done to the career of Jake Patterson is outright disgraceful. The kid has been a career backup during his entire stay with london. If he was not good enough to play regularly why would they not trade him. There have been many goalies with less talent drafted into the nhl because they were given a chance to play. Now at 20 entering his overage year next year his career is essentially over. What a shame.
Hounds Fan 5/21/2014 10:42:24 AM Report

Maybe the Hounds might trade for Patterson? Can't expect Halverson to carry all the games next season; that being said Halvy is a damn good goalie so who knows what Dubas might do
suckerminnows 5/21/2014 11:51:03 AM Report

TIRED OF THE LONDON WHO AND DALE HUNTER
CB4 5/21/2014 2:37:10 PM Report

Yah, well, the format sucks, cause Guelph may lose to London, 1 2-1 team right to finals, cause Guelph was 1st to do it ?
Mr E 5/22/2014 11:23:04 AM Report

Good god your thick. Tiebreaker would be head to head. Guelph beat Val'dor. Pointless now, Guelph went undefeated. They will win hands down.
Comments
9
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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