WINDSOR, Ont. - Ryan Rupert scored three goals and Michael Houser made 35 saves as the London Knights hammered the Windsor Spitfires 8-3 Thursday to sweep their Ontario Hockey League Western Conference quarter-final series in four games.
Chris Tierney added two goals for the Knights, while Brad Welycka, Greg McKegg and Andreas Anthanasiou also scored.
Rupert opened the scoring in the first period when his cross-crease pass bounced off a Windsor defenceman who was standing in front of the net and past Spitfire netminder Jaroslav Pavelka. The goal was a sign of things to come for Windsor.
Kerby Rychel, Chris Marchese and Michael Clarke replied for the Spitfires, who were outscored 17-7 in the series and shut out twice by Houser.
Knights defenceman Olli Maata appeared to suffer a knee injury after being checked into the boards by Windsor forward Hunter Smith. Maata did not return to the game.
Pavelka made 24 saves and could not be faulted on any London goals.
Overage netminder John Cullen, playing in his final OHL game, replaced Pavelka with 11:26 remaining in the third period and made eight saves in a relief effort.
Tyson Teichmann replaced Houser with just under three remaining in the game and allowed Clarke's goal on one of the two shots that he faced.
With the series win, the Knights became the first Western Conference team to advance in the post-season.