A four-goal explosion and a 42-save performance from Jordan Kooy propelled the London Knights past the Owen Sound Attack 4-1 on Friday night.
Normally staying patient is crucial around a different holiday in late December, but as Thanksgiving weekend began, doing that proved fruitful for the Knights as they picked up their third victory of the year, coming back against a strong Owen Sound side.
Through two periods, Attack goalie Mack Guzda felt as tough to fool as a bathroom scale after Thanksgiving dinner, but Connor McMichael found a way to put a puck past him early in the third and it broke open a nice set of floodgates for London.
Kooy earned his third victory in three starts in the Knight net, kicking out pucks that came at him from all over the ice as Owen Sound topped the 40-shot mark for the third consecutive game.
London will now get a weeklong break before their schedule becomes thick like gravy with three games in two-and-a-half days next weekend.
READ MORE: Midweek movement from the London Knights
How the goals were scored
The Attack struck first while the Knights were on a power play. Markus Phillips chipped a puck into centre ice sending Maksim Sushko and Aiden Dudas in alone on a two-on-oh breakaway. Sushko dished to Dudas and he scored to make it 1-0 Owen Sound.
The game stayed that way until the first two minutes of the third period when Connor McMichael carried in across the Owen Sound line, worked his way toward the net and wristed the puck inside the left post for his fifth goal in five games and a 1-1 tie. Adam Boqvist picked up his first point as a Knight.
Two fancy plays by Adam Boqvist and Matthew Timms led to the eventual game-winning goal by Nathan Dunkley. Boqvist laid a drop pass right on the blue ice of the blue line and Timms scooped up the puck, spun around a defender and fed Dunkley in the right corner. The Campbellford native drove to the net and crammed the puck past Attack goalie Mack Guzda to put London ahead 2-1.
Liam Foudy made it 3-1 on a nice feed from Cole Tymkin out of that same right corner spot and then Foudy won a race to the puck with the Owen Sound net empty and scored his third goal in three games to end things off for London.
Big debut: Robert Thomas
The former Knights captain played his first regular season game for St. Louis on Oct. 4 in a game that the Blue lost 5-1 to Winnipeg. Thomas played over 11 minutes and won four of seven faceoffs. Cracking the St. Louis lineup was made tougher for Thomas by the acquisitions of Tyler Bozek and Ryan O’Reilly, but he managed to do it and will now look to show he should stay for the entire season. If the Blues choose not to keep him, the only place that Thomas can be assigned is Hamilton in the Ontario Hockey League.
Big debut (a second time): Alex Formenton
Alex Formenton played 10:06 in his second career NHL game, which took place on Oct. 4 as the Ottawa Senators lost 4-3 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks. He tied for a game-high with four hits and had a great chance to score. The question becomes, does Ottawa feel he is ready for full-time NHL duty? After just one full season in the OHL, Alex Formenton made the Senators out of training camp in 2017. He stayed for the first week or so of the season and appeared in one game before being returned to the Knights where Formenton recorded 48 points in 48 games and helped Canada to win gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Ottawa can elect to keep him for the entire 2018-19 season or return him to London again.
Bouchard on tour
The other junior-eligible London Knight player still with a National Hockey League team is Evan Bouchard, who is currently in Sweden with the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is taking part in the NHL’s Global Series. They beat the Cologne Sharks 4-3 in overtime in Germany and now face the New Jersey Devils in Gothenberg, Sweden, on Saturday. Bouchard was skating on the Oilers’ third pairing of defencemen leading up to the game. LIke Thomas and Formenton, he can play in the NHL or be returned to major junior.
Knights sign Roger
London announced the signing of 16-year-old defenceman Ben Roger on Oct. 3. He is the sixth player to come out of the Knights’ 2018 draft class, joining Luke Evangelista, Tonio Stranges, Sahil Panwar, Gerard Keane and Sean McGurn. London general manager Mark Hunter described Rogers as, “a very exciting defensive prospect with great poise and puck-moving abilities.” He will play this season for the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL.
Kelowna to host 2020 Memorial Cup tournament
When it leaves Halifax in late May of 2019, the Memorial Cup trophy will spend some time with the latest championship team in major junior hockey and then get set for its next destination. The city of Kelowna, B.C., was selected as tournament host in 2020. Kelowna played host in 2004 with a brick wall of a defence led by Shea Weber that allowed three goals against in the four games that they played. Kamloops, B.C., and Lethbridge, Alta., also submitted bids to host.
READ MORE: 2018-19 Ontario Hockey League Preview
After back-to-back games, London does not play again until Friday, Oct. 12 when they host the Sarnia Sting for the first time since the pre-season. Sarnia lost quite a few players to graduation, but began this year with a 3-0 record before losing 5-2 to Owen Sound on Oct. 3 in a game that saw the Sting surrender 50 shots on goal. This will be the first of six games between London and Sarnia. Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at 980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.