The London Knights wrapped up two games in Eastern Ontario with a 4-1 win over the Frontenacs in Kingston on Saturday night.
The victory allowed London to pick up three of a possible four points on their road trip, after dropping a 2-1 game in overtime on Friday against the first place Ottawa 67’s.
The Knights rode a little early inspiration on Saturday, as Gerard Keane scored his first Ontario Hockey League goal in the first period.
“Definitely a great feeling to score my first goal,” Keane said after the game. “I think it gave us some energy early in a road game and the team carried that the rest of the night.”
Keane was selected by London in the third round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He spent last year playing for Chicago Mission U16.
His wasn’t the only first of the game. Keane’s goal and Alec Regula’s first of the season book-ended the scoring.
London is now 3-0-1 in their past four games and 7-4-2 overall on the season.
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How the goals were scored
Gerard Keane’s first goal in the Ontario Hockey League opened the scoring on Saturday, as the rookie defenceman took a feed from Josh Nelson and snapped a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Ryan Dugas for a 1-0 London lead. The goal also put Kingston into an unenviable position. The Frontenacs are 4-0 when they get the first goal of the game. They are now 0-10-1 when they do not score first.
The Knights got the second goal of the game on the power play. Tonio Stranges sent a slap pass at the net and Cole Tymkin tipped in his seventh goal of the year to make it 2-0. Tymkin leads the Knights with 15 points so far in 2018-19.
After a delay in the middle of the second period due to a problem with the lighting at the Leon’s Centre, the Frontenacs’ Ian Derungs popped the puck past Jordan Kooy off a face-off in the London end at 9:09.
Just over one minute later, the Knights had their two-goal lead back. Sergei Popov grabbed a bouncing puck in front of the Kingston net, but instead of taking a shot, he slid a nifty pass back to London defenceman Will Lochead. With all kinds of chaos in front, Lochead sailed a shot into the Kingston net for his second goal as a Knight and a 3-1 London lead.
Alec Regula finished the scoring at the 15:22 mark of the second period as he took a pass from Tymkin, skated from the right side of the Frontenac end to the left, cut toward the net and snapped a shot past Dugas for his first goal of 2018-19.
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The Under-17 World Hockey Challenge begins on November 3 in Saint John and Quispamsis, N.B. Canada has three teams in the tournament: Team White, Team Red and Team Black. Team White has three London Knights connections.
Knights forward Luke Evangelista will play, and behind him on the bench will be London assistant coach Dylan Hunter and former Knight Brett Gibson, who will serve as the head coach.
Gibson is currently head coach of the Queen’s Gaels in the OUA.
Flint earns first point
After a tough 0-12 start, the Flint Firebirds managed to record their first point of the season on Saturday night at home to the Sarnia Sting. They didn’t win, but fought back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game and then fought back to tie twice more in order to get to overtime where Maple Leafs’ prospect Ryan McGregor scored the winner for Sarnia in a 6-5 victory.
Ethan Keppen scored twice for Flint. His second goal came with 1:17 remaining in regulation to force OT.
The London Knights will be back home on Friday, November 2 to face the Flint Firebirds at 7:30 at Budweiser Gardens. Flint got off to an 0-12 start and has already been through a coaching change, after Ryan Oulahen announced he was stepping down for family and personal reasons.
Former Windsor Spitfire and Philadelphia Flyer Eric Wellwood, meanwhile, has stepped in. Flint picked up a point in an overtime loss to Sarnia on October 27.
The pre-game show starts at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.