Londoners make life difficult on London Knights
Owen Sound is not an easy place to play hockey.
Ask anyone who has played in the J.D. MacArthur Arena inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
After having success in the form of back-to-back wins in the building, the London Knights’ luck ran out at the “Bayshore” on Wednesday in a 4-2 loss to the Owen Sound Attack that has acted like a boa constrictor on the middle of the OHL’s Western Conference standings.
Londoner Nick Suzuki scored twice against his hometown team, while another Londoner, Ethan Szypula, added another. Szypula was playing in his 305th career OHL game and was honoured before the opening faceoff for hitting the 300 mark.
Knights’ assistant coach, Rick Steadman, pointed to Owen Sound’s experience is a big factor in the way the game went.
“They really know how the boards work. You hear people talk about “The Bayshore Bounce” and they really have it down and they keep coming and coming and in a small rink, the game feels like it is moving fast and it gives [the Attack] a real home-ice advantage.”
The Knights got the first goal of the game, but after Owen Sound tied it, two short-handed goals gave them a two-goal lead.
“It comes down to awareness,” explained Steadman. “I know you want to score the goal on a big power play, but if you push too hard, things can bounce the wrong way on you.”
The Attack outshot the Knights 41-28.
Owen Sound’s win, added to Saginaw’s shootout victory over the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds means that London, Guelph, the Spirit and the Attack are now separated by just three points in spots four through seven in the West.
The Knights have 14 games remaining in the regular season.
How the goals were scored
The first one took 21 minutes and six seconds to cross the goal line and it took an incredible individual effort from Knights’ defenceman, Alec Regula.
Londoner Nick Suzuki got his first of two on the night to tie the game at 5:58. Off a faceoff in the Knights’ end, he got to a puck and fired it past Joseph Raaymakers and it was 1-1.
Suzuki scored short-handed less than two minutes later and the Attack took a lead they would hang onto the rest of the way.
Maksim Susko fired home a short-handed goal 7:55 into the third period to give Owen Sound a 3-1 lead and then Londoner Ethan Szypula fed a pass back to the left point and went to the net where he tipped in his sixth goal in his past four games to give the Attack a 4-1 advantage.
Foudy flew down the ice late in the game, cut to the net and lifted a puck over Olivier Lafreniere with 12 seconds to go to give him his 10th goal in his past 10 games.
Foudy named OHL player of the week
Knights’ second-year forward Liam Foudy scored five times and added two assists in a span of 46 hours, helping London to three victories. Those numbers earned him Ontario Hockey League player-of-the-week honours on Monday. The Scarborough native is getting more and more attention from NHL scouts. He is eligible for the NHL Entry Draft in June and now has 10 goals and four assists in his last 10 games.
Kadri hits 20-goal mark with first career hat trick
Londoner and former Knight, Nazem Kadri, scored three times and added two assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-3 win over Columbus. Kadri now has 21 goals on the season. The Maple Leafs have now won five straight games.
Chris Kelly and Team Canada set to go at the Olympics
The Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, began last week. Now, Team Canada is ready to begin the men’s hockey tournament. Former London Knights Chris Kelly and Christian Thomas are on the team. So is Blythe native, Justin Peters. Kelly is the captain and as Canada meets Switzerland on Thursday morning at 7:10 a.m., he will likely be reminding his teammates about what happened on day one of the men’s preliminary round when Slovakia knocked off the Olympic Athletes from Russia 3-2 and Slovenia stunned the United States 3-2 in overtime.
The Knights meet the Kitchener Rangers on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens. Kitchener is coming off a Wednesday morning win in Mississauga in front of a crowd of school kids. The Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory. Kitchener comes in rolling having won three in a row and have gone 10-1-0-1 in their past 12 games. Coverage starts at 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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