October 15, 2017 7:27 pm

Knights get to overtime against Owen Sound and get Alex Formenton back

Mike Stubbs/AM980
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Sean Durzi spoiled a London Knights’ comeback as he scored the game winner on a breakaway at 1:44 0f overtime to give the Owen Sound Attack a 4-3 victory at Budweiser Gardens on Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 2-0 and 3-1 in the third period, London got goals from Robert Thomas, Evan Bouchard and Josh Nelson to tie the game and send it to OT.

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“It’s very deflating when you get yourself there and lose it in the end,” said Knights’ assistant coach Rick Steadman. “But, tomorrow when you look back, you’ll think about the trouble we have had getting points, so one point is better than none. We played a good game, we fought the adversity and got a couple of goals when we needed, so hopefully it gives us some confidence going into next weekend.”

The first 40 minutes of the game could be summed up by the Attack taking advantage of their best opportunities and the Knights being shut out on theirs.

Still, Steadman says the third period may wind up being something that London looks back at.

“That was coming straight from our leadership. Robert Thomas, (Max) Jones, (Sam Miletic) and Cliff Pu all said, ‘Let’s go.’ We had nothing to lose. We were down by two and we wanted to be able to come in and look ourselves in the mirror and know that we had given our best.”

READ MORE: London Knights acquire new defenceman all the way from Prince George

London did not get the victory, but did technically end their regulation losing streak and they did impress Owen Sound Attack head coach and former NHL defenceman, Todd Gill.

“They’re going to be O.K.” said Gill. “They have some talent and it’s just a bounce here and a bounce there. We got the bounce and they didn’t. They outplayed us in the third period and probably should have had that game won. They are better than their record.”

The Knights outshot the Attack 38-31.

How the goals were scored

Aidan Dudas scored his fourth goal in his last three games for Owen Sound thanks to some hard work by Alan Lyszczarczyk, who dug a puck free in behind the London net and zipped a pass in front to Dudas and he beat Jordan Kooy to make it 1-0.

Maksim Sushko scored his fifth goal in less than 24 hours in the second period as he cut to the net and took a pass from Markus Phillips. Sushko converted with a deke to the backhand and made it 2-0 for Owen Sound.

The Knights put 28 pucks at Bowman through two periods and seemed to do everything but score. Just 57 seconds into the third period, Robert Thomas made it happen with his second goal of the season. London forward, Cole Tymkin carried in across the Attack blue line and made a little move to the centre of the zone while dropping the puck off to a hard-charging Thomas, who swooped behind the net and wrapped the puck behind Attack goalie, Zach Bowman.

The Attack caught a break and recaptured their two-goal lead as a puck bounced to the side of the London net and somehow found its way past Kooy to make it 3-1. Tyler Johnson replaced Kooy in net following the goal.

Undeterred and finding offensive confidence as the final period wore on, Evan Bouchard snapped a puck past Bowman to get the Knights within a goal.

At 12:56 of the third, London tied the game. On a scramble at the side of the Owen Sound net, both Alex Turko and Josh Nelson took whacks at the puck. Nelson touched it last for his fourth goal of the season and a 3-3 score that stood at the end of regulation.

In overtime, Robert Thomas and Cliff Pu created a 2-on-1, but a pass from Thomas hopped over Pu’s stick before he could get a decent chance. Not long after that, Owen Sound’s Sean Durzi poked a puck into centre ice and went the distance on a breakaway, ending the game with a backhand over Johnson that gave the Attack their third consecutive victory.

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Last second shot

With twenty seconds left in regulation time, Evan Bouchard got to a puck in behind his net, took a look and flipped it end over end in the air and dropped it down inside the Owen Sound blue line just as Thomas raced across it. Thomas got in alone, but just put the puck wide.

Save of the game

Dudas had a golden opportunity to score his second of the game just before the midway mark of the middle period, but Kooy stretched out and took it away with his glove.

Crossed up by the red bars

Max Jones got two hard shots away in the late stages of the second period and both of them found iron. On a delayed penalty call against Owen Sound, Jones took a feed on the right side of the zone and lasered a wrist shot at the Attack net and it hit under the crossbar, but stayed out. On the ensuing power play, Jones got the puck almost right away and fired another puck on goal, only to have it hit off the outside of the post to the stick side of Bowman.

Man advantage aggravation

After an offensive explosion on the power play in Oshawa that saw London score three times in a span of 2:04, the Knights have been working to duplicate that magic and haven’t quite found it. London went 0-for-4 on Sunday afternoon.

The return of Formenton

Just a couple of minutes into the third period against the Attack, the Ottawa Senators tweeted that Alex Formenton had been re-assigned to the Knights. He was the reigning youngest player in the NHL and played one game in a Senators’ uniform. He brings explosive speed and a good finishing touch as well as solid defensive awareness and penalty killing acumen back to London.

READ MORE: London Knights edged at home by Windsor Spitfires

On the road again

The Knights will now play four of their next five games away from home, beginning on Friday, October 20 in Kitchener. The Knights will visit Mississauga on Sunday, October 22 before returning home on the 27th to meet the Flint Firebirds at 7:30.

All games can be heard on AM980, at www.am980.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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