Series Preview: (1) London Jr. Knights vs. (8) Chatham-Kent Cyclones

Season Series:

London over Chatham-Kent 5-0 (Oct. 5)

London over Chatham-Kent 5-3 (Nov. 30)

London over Chatham-Kent 4-3 (Dec. 20)

It’s very hard to say that a team with the record London had would have preferred to not play the Chatham-Kent Cyclones, but it would be hard to say the Knights didn’t have their fair share of troubles with the Cyclones despite sweeping the season series.

Their first meeting is exactly as shown in the score with London getting ahead early and really shutting down the Cyclones offense. But their second and third meetings actually had Chatham-Kent leading in both those contests. Back in November, Chatham-Kent took a 3-0 lead into the 3rd period and had still had that same lead midway through before the floodgates opened and London scored five unanswered, led by a natural hat trick by Joel Mazzilli.

December saw the same story as the Cyclones held another 3-0 lead 30 seconds into the 2nd period before London scored four unanswered once again to claim victory. Some people would say this could be a case of London not taking Chatham-Kent seriously, but if that is the case then those feelings better be long gone before Game One Saturday.

For Chatham to have success in this series, they are going to need to rely on their goaltending to stop the offensive fire power that London has. Both CJ Burgess and Caleb Pinsonneault will need to be on top of their games, especially if the Cyclones can garner an early lead. Their offense should have plenty of confidence going into the series. All six of their goals have come against Keaghan Brett, one of the top three goalies in the Alliance.

London is talent rich on offense and will need their goal scorers to do exactly that, score goals. Led by the likes of Mazzilli, Eric Guest, Kyle Fisher and Blake McConnell-Barker, the Jr. Knights have several options should they need to grab a goal. Should the Cyclones get into penalty trouble, they were the most heavily penalized team in the league, the London powerplay sees five forwards take to the ice with the possibility of a goal coming from every stick.

Based on their history this season, it wouldn’t be hard for me to predict an upset somewhere in this series, but that’s not something my crystal ball sees. I do think that these games will be close with neither team coming away with a blowout win. I just feel London is too powerful up front and will prove too much for the Cyclones. I’ll take London in three games, but they will be three close games.

Alliance Scout Player to Watch:

London: Blake McConnell-Barker

Chatham-Kent: CJ Burgess/Caleb Pinsonneault

Check out the preview for Waterloo/Hamilton here.

Check out the preview for Kitchener/Huron-Perth here.

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