London Score Four In Third Period To Beat Sarnia 5-2 In Game Five

London Knights
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By Carl Chimenti

The London Knights broke open a close game, scoring four third period goals to beat the Sarnia Sting 5-2 in game five of the Western Conference championship series, Friday night at the Budweiser Gardens.

In a series that has seen both teams – London (3-0) and Sarnia (2-0), perfect at home, the Sting will now return to the friendly confines, at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, for game six, Sunday (May 7th), with puck drop at 2:05pm, and a sold -out crowd behind them, with a chance to tie the series and send the finals back to London for a deciding game seven, Monday night.

Sarnia started the third period with a quick goal just 40 seconds in, with both teams playing four on four hockey, to tie the game 1-1.

Sasha Pastujov (Anaheim Ducks) carried the puck in past the London blue-line and lost the puck, but Ethan Del Mastro (Chicago Black Hawks) was there for support and he gathered the loose puck at the half wall and then turned and fed a wide open, rushing Nolan Dillingham and the captain made no mistake beating Bowen on the glove side, for his third goal of the playoffs.

London wasted no time, scoring thirteen seconds later on a goal from Denver Barkey. Ryan Winterton scored the first of his two goals shortly after at 1:32, in what proved to be the winning tally. The Seattle Kraken prospect continue his heater, scoring a goal for a fifth consecutive game in this series. His second goal came into an empty net goal and was his sixth goal of this series and his tenth overall of the post-season and he was named the first star of the game.

With less than four minutes to play Sarnia pulled goaltender Ben Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks) and London scored the first of their two empty net goals from Easton Cowan at 17:30 and the second from Winterton at 19:16, sandwiched in between a Sarnia power-play goal from Pastujov goal, his ninth, from Luca Del Bel Belluz (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Ty Voit (Toronto Maple Leafs) which came at 18:55. The goal for Pastujov was his second of this series to go along with seven assists and nine points in the five games played in the Western Conference finals.

Gaudreau stood tall in net as he stopped 22 of 25 shots. London goaltender Zach Bowen, who was especially sharp in the first two periods, made 30 saves on 32 shots and was selected as the second star.

London forwards Cowan and Denver Barkey had a goal and an assist each. Barkey was chosen as the third star. Jackson Edward had two assists for the Knights.

Sarnia out-shot London 32-27 and scored the only power-play goal (1/5) of the game, while the Knights went 0/3.

The Sarnia Sting ran into a hot goaltender in the first period as Bowan stopped all 14 shots he faced. Gaudreau was solid as well for Sarnia, facing nine shots and allowing just one goal. Gazizov scored his second of the playoffs from Brody Crane and Jacob Julien at 6:06.

London out-shot Sarnia 12-9 in a scoreless second period as both goaltenders continued their fine play.

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