LONDON — Killing penalties is the dirty work of hockey, but it wins you games.
The Guelph Storm's penalty kill threw up a Berlin Wall around goaltender Anthony Popovich Friday night as the Storm fought off elimination for the second straight game, downing the London Knights 3-1 at Budweiser Gardens.
Guelph killed off seven London Knights power plays, including four in the second period, in a 3-1 win.
The series now shifts back to Guelph for Game 6 Saturday at 7 p.m. with London holding a 3-2 series advantage.
But the momentum has clearly swung in the Storm's favour.
Nick Suzuki scored the winner at 3:59 of the third period, scooping up a loose puck in the high slot and firing a wrist shot to the top corner past the blocker of London goaltender Jordan Kooy.
Suzuki added an empty netter in the final minute to ice it.
"That was definitely our best game all around," said Suzuki, the best player on the ice Friday.
"We don't have that many PK (penalty kill) guys and we did a great job of killing all those off ,,, we built a lot of momentum killing off all those penalties," Suzuki said.
"They have a great power play and they've been scoring a lot this series. For us to kill all those off gives us a lot of confidence."
Guelph won it the old fashioned way, playing with emotion, cutting limiting mistakes and backstopped by another great goaltending performance by Popovich, who made 35 saves.
There was also some successful line tinkering by Storm coach George Burnett, who put Dom Commisso on the top line with Suzuki and Isaac Ratcliffe. The new trio accounted for all three Storm goals and combined for six points.
"Our kill was terrific. A lot of blocked shots, a lot of big faceoffs won tonight and a lot of battles won that we haven't been winning with a lot of regularity," said Burnett.
He mentioned the yeoman's work done by Jack Hanley on defence. Hanley and Dmitri Samorukov logged a tonne of ice time.
"It feels good to win, but we don't have long to sit on it. We've got to refresh and get ready to go in our building tomorrow."
For the second game in a row Guelph took the lead, with Commisso the beneficiary of a bounce off a player's leg that gave him he puck and a wide-open net to score in.
London's Alex Formenton tied it in the final minute of the first period.
The second period was scoreless, with most of the period spent with one team or the other on the power play as Guelph also went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
Guelph managed to play with confidence despite the closeness of the score the remainder of the third period, then survived a number of icings and lost faceoffs in the final two minutes with London's goaltender on the bench.