It wasn't as if the Plymouth Whalers played poorly Saturday night at Compuware Arena.
The London Knights played better before a sellout crowd of 4,026 at Compuware Arena in a 5-0 victory over the Whalers.
Kevin Bailie stopped all 36 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season while Matt Rupert scored a hat trick to lead London. Besides Rupert’s hat trick (7-8-9 on the season), the Knights also received goals from Olli Maatta (3rd) and Bo Horvat (7th).
Plymouth (now 10-6-2-1) remains tied for first place in the OHL’s West Division with Sarnia (11-7-0-1). London improves to 12-5-0-2.
London won the battle of special teams, going 4-for-8 on the power play while killing off five Plymouth power plays.
Bailie has played well against the Whalers this year and has allowed just four goals in three games against Plymouth this season. Tonight, Bailie was sharp and recieved help from a couple of goal posts along the way.
Rupert got the Knights rolling in the first period, scoring a pair of goals 0:51 apart. At 14:38, Horvat worked out of the right corner in the Plymouth zone and fed Rupert at the right side of the goal. 12 seconds after Plymouth's Ryan Hartman was sent off for hooking, Rupert scored through traffic just outside the Plymouth blue ice at 15:29.
Typical of the way things went for Plymouth, Bailie robbed Hartman on a shorthanded chance on the right side of the goal five minutes into the second period, and Rupert scored again on the ensuing rush from the hashmarks to give London a 3-0 lead at 5:06.
Maatta struck again for London on the power play at 11:31, threading his way through traffic in front of the Plymouth goal to find a rebound and score on a back hand.
Horvat - who played a strong game for London - finished the scoring at 16:27 of the third period, wiring a shot from the left circle under the cross bar.
The Whalers hit the road for three games next week, playing in Saginaw on Wednesday, Bellleville next Saturday and Ottawa on Nov. 18 before returning home on Nov. 21 to host Windsor.