London Knights sweep three games in three cities in under 48 hours

The London Knights held on for a 4-3 win over the Guelph Storm to complete a weekend sweep of three games in three days.

London defenceman Sam Dickinson had a goal and an assist. Michael Simpson came up with massive stops in his return to the Knights crease after missing three straight games with an illness.

Simpson’s biggest save came off a rebound chance in the slot by Londoner Parker Snelgrove with just over one minute remaining. Simpson stopped 25 Guelph shots in all.

The win extended a run of 18-0-0-2 in London’s past 20 games.

Dickinson got the scoring going as he put the puck to the Guelph net where Ruslan Gazizov was able to tap a pass to Kasper Halttunen at the edge of the crease for Halttunen’s 24th goal of the season to start the scoring at 4:06 of the first period.

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London went ahead 2-0 as at the 10:39 mark as Landon Sim found Sawyer Boulton in front of the Guelph net. The Knights were off to the kind of start you want when you are playing your third game in less than 48 hours.

In a span of three minutes and one second the Storm took that lead away as two London connections cashed in.

Londoner Parker Snelgrove deked in his first ever Ontario Hockey League goal to make it 2-1. Then former Knight Brody Crane knocked down a puck in the London end and fired a shot off a stick and in to tie the game.

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Ryan McGuire of Guelph was assessed a two-minute penalty for a check-to-the-head on Evan Van Gorp with him Jackson Edward of London was given a five-minute major for head-butting and a game misconduct.

That created a four-on-four situation and that led to a go-ahead goal by Oliver Bonk whose pass into the slot hit a stick at deflected past Brayden Gillespie for a 3-2 Knights lead through the first 20 minutes.

London scored the only goal of the second period as Easton Cowan set up Sam Dickinson for a blast of a one-timer on a Knights power play. Dickinson has five points in his last four games and Cowan extended his point streak to 18 games.

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That equalled a streak set by Halttunen earlier this year and is one short of the longest point streak of 2023-24 when OHL scoring leader Anthony Romani went 19 consecutive games with at least one point.

Cowan continues to lead the league in points per game with 64 points in 36 games.

Braeden Bowman’s 26th goal of the year got the Storm to within a goal but London held the off the rest of the way.

The Knights outshot Guelph 28-24.

London was 1-for-5 on the power play and killed off all five chances that the Storm had on the man advantage.

Plus, plus, plus

The London Knights lead the Ontario Hockey League in both goals for and in goals against. Those team totals also tie into individual totals and London players are filling up the charts in plus-minus.

Top NHL Draft prospect Sam Dickinson ranks number two at a plus-39. Jackson Edward and Denver Barkey are tied for fourth at plus-34. While advanced metrics sometimes shove plus-minus down the list of statistical categories it still gives a very plain perspective of a player being on the ice when his team is scoring and not being on the ice for goals by the opposition.

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Kitchener defenceman Matt Andonovski currently has the best plus-minus in the OHL at a plus-44.

Up next

The Knights make their first trip to Flint, Mich., on Feb. 7 for a midweek game against the Firebirds.

The teams have met twice at Budweiser Gardens this season. Flint beat London 7-4 on Nov. 17 and then the Knights won 5-3 on New Year’s Eve when Jacob Julien had a goal and three assists for London.

Coverage will begin at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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