Houser has Knights in command of OHL final
Goalie's 36-save performance vs. IceDogs puts London win away from Memorial Cup berth
Michael Houser made 36 saves and the London Knights moved within a victory of winning the Ontario Hockey League title with a 4-1 win over the hometown Niagara IceDogs on Wednesday in St. Catharines, Ont.
The Knights have a 3-1 series lead in the best-of-seven final, and can earn their spot at the Memorial Cup with a win at home on Friday. London has won three straight after losing the series opener in double-overtime.
Ryan Rupert, Vladislav Namestnikov, Chris Tierney and Matt Rupert scored for London.
Myles Doan replied for Niagara, while Mark Visentin turned aside 17 shots in the loss.
Ryan Rupert's nifty breakaway goal 3:31 into the first period opened the scoring for the Knights. It was Rupert's ninth of the playoffs.
Namestnikov scored on the power play 7:47 into the second period, then Tierney made it 3-0 London at 13:56.
Myles Doan beat Houser 6:23 into the third period to make it 3-1 but that's all the IceDogs could muster.
Matt Rupert closed out the scoring just under a minute after Doan's goal.
Niagara outshot London in every period, including 12-4 in the first, and 37-21 overall.
Niagara defenceman Brock Beukeboom left the game late in the second period with an undisclosed injury.
The Knights were 1-for-4 on the power play, while the IceDogs went 0-for-4.