A three-goal third period took the London Knights to a 5-2 victory over the Spitfires Wednesday night in Windsor, Ont.
Tonio Stranges sizzled a pass off Cody Morgan’s stick and the veteran shot and scored what would be the game-winning goal at 3:53 of the final period. The goal gave London their first 3-2 lead and the Knights built from there.
San Jose Sharks prospect Liam Gilmartin hit a rebound from Ruslan Gazizov out of the air in front of Spitfires goalie Matt Tovell at 8:39 of the third to make it 4-2 and Knights defenseman Gerard Keane a finished pointing in an empty net.
The turning point may have come even before London captain Luke Evangelista got the go-ahead goal. The Knights had just finished a penalty kick at the end of the second period when Windsor returned to the power play with the Spitfires already leading 2-1.
Sean McGurn of London cleared the puck into the Knights’ zone and Evangelista rushed forward. McGurn put the puck on Evangelista’s stick and he entered a breakaway and sliced a shot past Tovell for his third shorthanded goal of the year to tie the game. It was Evangelista’s ninth point in his last three games.
Will Cuylle of Windsor opened the scoring following a play in the London zone in the first minute of the second period and Dallas Stars Draft pick Wyatt Johnston found him for the 14th goal of the year in Cuylle to bring the score to 1-0 against the Spitfires.
London tied the power play just before the middle of the second period as Colton Smith found Brody Crane in net for the Spitfires and Crane scored his fourth goal.
Windsor pushed back the lead on a power play as Brett Brochu made a save, but Wyatt Johnston cleared a puck and scored at 12:39 of the halfway point.
Brochu made 35 saves for his 13th league-leading victory in 2021-22.
Gazizov had two assists giving him 11 points in nine OHL games.
Stranges extended their points streak to eight games and London extended their overall OHL lead to four points over the North Bay Battalion.
The Knights are 14-3-1.
On the way to the challenge of the capital
Denver Barkey, Easton Cowan and Oliver Bonk prepare to compete in one of the most unique hockey tournaments ever played. It will bring together three teams of U17 players and members of Canada’s National Women’s Team and will begin on Friday, November 26.
Barkey has two goals and six points so far for the Knights in 2021-22 and he will join Oliver Bonk on Team Black. Bonk spent most of that year with the GOJHL St. Thomas Stars, but made his OHL debut on Nov. 16 in Sarnia, Ont. Barkey and Bonk will face Easton Cowan and Team Red in their opener.
Cowan has played two games with the Knights this year and collected one assist. He had some great games for the GOJHL Komoka Kings in 22 points in 16 games. Barkey, Cowan and Bonk were the Knights’ top three picks in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.
Knights 5th in CHL standings
A 2-2 week lost London two spots in the Canadian Hockey League standings. London leads the OHL standings with a 13-3-1 record and the top ranked team in the OHL. The WHL Winnipeg Ice 19-1 holds the top spot. They are followed by three other Western Hockey League teams: the Everett Silvertips, the Kamloops Blazers and the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Mississauga and North Bay are the other teams ranked in the OHL. The Steelheads are in the 8th rank and the Battalion in the 9th.
The Kngihts will remain on the road for two more games as Country Music Week continues in London. The Knights will make their first visit to Guelph on Friday, November 26 to face the Storm. Both teams went into overtime in a game played at Budweiser Gardens on November 9.
A steal from Danny Zhilkin in the London zone ended the game after nine seconds of overtime and gave Guelph the first win of the ten-game series between the clubs.
The Storm has the OHL’s most dangerous scorer in Sasha Pastujov, who has scored 18 goals in his first 18 games.
Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. with the pre-game show on 980 CFPL, www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada application.
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