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Opportunity lost: Storm falls in overtime to London (12 photos)

The battle for home-ice advantage in the Western Conference should go down to the wire

It was the wrong time, the wrong place and the wrong opponent to let one slip away.

Liam Foudy scored at 3:48 of overtime to lift the London Knights to a 3-2 win over the Guelph Storm at the Sleeman Centre Sunday afternoon.

Foudy faked a shot to freeze his check then cut in on a sharp angle before tucking the puck past Storm netminder Anthony Popovich.

It gave the Knights an all-important extra point in the dogfight for home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

After Sunday’s action, London now holds that fourth place with 62 points. Guelph has 59, Saginaw 58 and the Owen Sound Attack - who blew a three-goal lead in the third period in Ottawa Sunday - have 57.

Saginaw and Owen Sound each have a game in hand on London and Guelph.

“Absolutely,” Storm coach George Burnett said when asked if Sunday was a lost opportunity.

“I don’t want our guys looking and worrying about the standings, that’s for me to worry about, but it is a great opportunity that we kind of squandered today,” Burnett said.

“I’m disappointed today. (London) is a tired group and we had to take advantage of not having played yesterday,” Burnett said.

Still, he didn’t want the result to take away from a very solid weekend, with wins over Windsor and Saginaw.

“If we get five out of six points every weekend over the next month and a bit then we’ll probably be pretty happy.”

Sunday’s game should never have got to overtime.

London’s tying goal was a sharp angle shot from Billy Moskal that seemed to take a dip under the crossbar and fooled Popovich. It came just 12 seconds after Isaac Ratcliffe had given the Storm the 2-1 lead on the power play.

“A missed assignment,” said Burnett of what allowed Moskal to get the shot off..

Late in the game Guelph had a glorious chance to score what would have been the winner when Cam Hillis had the puck bobble on him as he cut across the top of the London crease with a gaping net awaiting delivery.

“We had a long get together yesterday and talked about the process and what the process entails. A lot of it is puck management,” Burnett said. “We didn’t manage the puck very well at times today and they make you pay.

Burnett said he needs more from his veterans in games like Sunday.

“We have some big guys that aren’t playing very big on the cycle. We need a little more impact from our older group. I don’t care what round you’ve been drafted in or how long you’ve played in the league. If you’ve never won then you’ve got to be willing to listen and learn.”

The Storm had to do without the services of forward Cedric Ralph for the third period Sunday after he re-aggravated a hip flexor.

Sunday was also the final game of Ryan Merkley’s three-game suspension.

The Storm host the Ottawa 67’s Friday, play in Erie Sunday, then host Erie in a Monday afternoon game on Family Day.