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London Knights beat Flint Firebirds for their fourth win in a row

Flint, Mich. - Liam Foudy scores his first of two goals for the London Knights against the Flint Firebirds in a 4-3 London victory on January 30, 2019. Jim Van Horne/980 CFPL

Liam Foudy scored two more goals and Connor McMichael hit 30 goals on the season as the London Knights held on to edge the Firebirds 4-3 in Flint, Michigan.

Foudy has now scored in 10 consecutive games and stretched his point streak to 11 games as the Knights completed a stretch on the schedule that saw them play seven out of eight games on the road. London went 6-1-1 in that span.

“This was an interesting game,” said Foudy. “We weren’t completely ready at the start and they went up right away [1-0] and then the fact that we were able to come back was a good sign.”

Foudy’s goals put the Knights ahead 2-1 early in the second period, and though Flint tied it, Connor McMichael put London ahead to stay with his milestone 30th goal. McMichael is still only 17.

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London’s power play was held quiet because it was held off the ice all night. There were only two power plays in the entire game and both went to Flint. The Knights managed to kill off both penalties and still own the number one ranked penalty kill in the league.

Joseph Raaymakers made his 11th straight start for the Knights and picked up his 24th win of the year.

With London leading 4-2 late in the game and the Flint net empty, Raaymakers even tried to take a shot at the empty net, but the puck was stopped in the neutral zone.

“It was just a good opportunity for it, even just to clear it out of the zone,” smiled Raaymakers. “But it always seems that when I need to raise the puck, I don’t.”

Raaymakers liked the effort that London showed to come back in the game on the road.

“They always play us hard in their building, so it was good to squeeze out a win and build on it going forward.”

The Knights are still two points back of the Ottawa 67s with two games in hand. Ottawa handed the Kingston Frontenacs their sixth straight loss on Wednesday. Kingston has only scored six goals in their last eight games.

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London will play their next three games at Budweiser Gardens, beginning with a game at home to the Barrie Colts on Friday, February 1 at 7:30.

READ MORE: Around The OHL: Scouting the top prospects

How the goals were scored

Emmett Pierce, who started his OHL career with the Knights’ organization, set up shop in front of the London net in the first period and swept his fourth goal as a Firebird into the net at 7:53 of the first period.

Liam Foudy extended his goal streak and point streak at 4:27 of the second period as he scored after a couple of Knights chances in front. That tied the game 1-1.

Foudy put London ahead 2-1 with his 27th goal of the season as he banged a Joey Kean rebound between the legs of Luke Cavallin just over four minutes after he scored his first goal of the game.

Firebirds rookie Evan Vierling was sent in on a breakaway just past the midway mark of the second period and he scored to tie the game, but Connor McMichael of the Knights lifted a rebound over Luke Cavallin for his 30th goal on the year and a 3-2 London lead through 40 minutes.

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Connor McMichael scores his 30th goal of the season for the London Knights. Jim Van Horne/980 CFPL

Gerard Keane blasted a shot that hit a defender and went in to give the Knights some breathing room in the third period.

London held their 4-2 lead until the final minute when Flint’s Cody Morgan scored the final goal of the game with 11.3 seconds left.

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READ MORE: OHL Roundup: Sunday, January 27, 2019

Stolarz perfect

Former London Knight Anthony Stolarz stopped 38 shots for the Philadelphia Flyers to blank the New York Rangers 1-0 at Madison Square Gardens on Wednesday.

For a New Jersey native like Stolarz, that in itself is usually a thrill. He has been hampered by knee surgeries that have held him to just eight starts this season. The Flyers are a long way out of a playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, but they have been showing off some bright spots. They have won five games in a row, they are getting great goaltending from Stolarz and rookie Carter Hart and after his performance on All-Star weekend, Gritty is widely considered the best mascot in the National Hockey League.

Foudy named player of the week

Liam Foudy has been absolutely flying. He scored four goals and added four assists in two victories over the Windsor Spitfires and a win in Oshawa and that earned him OHL Player of the Week honours. Foudy was also a plus-eight and is now third in Knights scoring and tied for 35th in league scoring. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospect is on an 11-game point streak and has scored at least one goal in ten consecutive games, tying him with Tye Felhaber of Ottawa and Hugo Leufvenius of Sarnia for longest goal scoring streak this year in the Ontario Hockey League.

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READ MORE: Liam Foudy leads London Knights past Oshawa

Up next

The Knights return home for their first set of back-to-back home games since January 11 and 12. They will face the Barrie Colts on Friday, February 1. The Colts edged London 3-2 in Barrie two weeks ago. Londoner Ryan Suzuki scored twice in that game and now has four goals in three career games against his hometown team. The Knights will host the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday night at Budweiser Gardens. London will be looking to improve to 5-0 against the Rangers this season. The Knights have outscored Kitchener 19-5 in the first four meetings between the teams.

Coverage on 980 CFPL will begin at 6:30 p.m. for both games night. You can also hear the games at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.