The London Knights series with the Erie has been a very intense series with momentum changing hands almost every period it seemed. There were nights when goaltending on both sides was spectacular and there instances where the goaltending was suspect on both sides. Tyler Parsons was the better goaltender throughout the series and did as much as could be expected to keep the Knights in the series and stole a victory in game one and allowed the Knights to win game 4 after a shaky start in which he allowed 2 goals in the opening period. Troy Timpano of the Erie Otters didn’t have to be as effective in his net to keep Erie alive in some games. But his stumble in game 4 in which he allowed 2 goals in :31 seconds completing the Knights comeback could have spelled disaster for the Otters.
Most of the games in the series were closely played games in which the teams traded the lead back and forth. Games 2 and 5 being the exception as Erie ran away with those. London has been inconsistent with their play in their own zone through game 6 of the second round series. They have been guilty on more than one occasion of chasing the puck carrier and not being responsible defensively resulting in more than one scoring chance for the Otters. The simple fact that the Otters are the superior offensive team is very clear and only the gameplan of Dale Hunter has kept the Knights alive this long in the series. On the ice Tyler Parsons is the reason London survived until game 7 and in more than one game he faced double the shots that his counterpart Timpano saw.
London has a powerful team this season but not the caliber of the team last season that won it all. It isn’t like the Knights to bring in a boat load of talent at the trade deadline as they did this season with the likes of Dante Salituro, Mitchell Stephens and Mitchell Vande Sompel. It is hard for players given a short window to gel with their new teammates. Especially higher end talent as they must accept a reduced role on a stronger team and as much as they say and do all the right things it nearly impossible. The exception seems to be Mitchell Stephens, he has been the best player on the Knights in this series in my opinion and netted the overtime winner in game 6. It did not work with the likes of John Tavares and the trade that brought him to London and it remains to be seen if will work for this version of the Knights.
So it all comes down to a one game winner take all game 7 in Erie. London dodged the bullet against the Spitfires we will see if they can do it again.