The Mississauga Steelheads stayed hot with a 9-4 victory over the London Knights on Family Day in Mississauga.
The Steelheads are now 6-0-0-1 in their past seven games and have victories over top teams like Ottawa, Niagara and now the Knights over that span.
London missed out on its 40th victory of the season after beating the Erie Otters 8-5 on Sunday.
The Knights got out to a solid start with a pair of goals from Kevin Hancock in the first period, but London assistant coach Rick Steadman said that seemed to spark the Steelheads.
“We started to let them dictate the pace,” Steadman admitted. “By doing that it didn’t allow our (defencemen) to get up and close gaps and they were coming back too quickly on us. That meant every time they got a chance, it was a great chance.”
The Steelheads erased London’s two-goal lead and then built a two-goal bulge of their own, which stood into the third period.
London attempted to take advantage of a big opportunity over the last half of the third period when they pulled their goalie on a power play and got a rash of opportunities, first 6-on-4 and then 6-on-3 when the Steelheads took a second minor penalty.
“I thought the guys moved the puck around well and got a couple of big chances on net and (Mississauga goalie) Jacob Ingham came up with a couple of really good saves when we needed the puck to bounce the other way,” said Steadman.
The game was London’s seventh in 11 days as they continue through the busiest stretch on their schedule.
London will be in Peterborough on Thursday and then come home for weekend games on Friday and Sunday at Budweiser Gardens against Hamilton and then the North Bay Battalion.
Kevin Hancock showed off his skills to get the scoring started as the overage Knights forward batted down a puck that bounced off the end boards and flipped it into the Steelheads net to open the scoring and then blasted a slap shot into the top corner to make it 2-0 just over five minutes later.
Mississauga tied the game before the end of the first period on goals by Alan Lyszczarczyk and Cole Schwindt that came less than three minutes apart.
The Steelheads twice scored pairs of goals under three minutes apart in the second period to take a 4-2 lead and then keep that bulge through goals by Connor McMichael and Liam Foudy of the Knights for a score of 6-4 heading into the third.
Two of the Mississauga goals came off the stick of former London Jr. Knight Aidan Prueter. The others came from Carter and Nick Isaacson.
The Knights pulled goalie Joseph Raaymakers as they went to a power play with just over seven minutes remaining in the third period. Another penalty to the Steelheads turned that into a 6-on-3 man advantage, but an Alex Formenton wrister off the crossbar was as close as London could get.
As the penalties began to end, the Steelheads managed to score twice into an empty net to put the game away.
Busy Family Day in the OHL
Eighteen of the 20 teams in the Ontario Hockey League played on Family Day. Only the Soo Greyhounds and the Erie Otters had the day off.
Sasha Chmelevski had a big day in Ottawa as the 67’s beat North Bay 6-3. Chmelevski scored five goals as Ottawa outshot the Battalion 51-11 and extended their record to 14-0-0-1 over their last 15 games.
The Guelph Storm survived a tough test at home against the Flint Firebirds. Flint tied the game in the third period, but Dmitri Samoroukov won it for the Storm in overtime, 5-4.
Two of the nine games ended in shootouts as the Oshawa Generals edged the Sudbury Wolves 3-2 and the Sarnia Sting pulled out the second point in a 7-6 shootout win over Saginaw after the Spirit scored three times in the third period to tie the game.
The Kingston Frontenacs are now winless in 16 games after falling 3-2 to the Kitchener Rangers on home ice.
Ex-Knights in Edmonton
Two separate trades in the National Hockey League on Feb. 16 saw two former London Knights change teams and both wind up with the Edmonton Oilers. Sam Gagner recorded 35 goals, 83 assists and 118 points in 53 games in his only season in London. Anthony Stolarz joined the Knights in 2012-13 and was part of a goaltending tandem with Jake Patterson that won on Ontario Hockey League championship and made two Memorial Cup appearances. With only Mikko Koskinen in Edmonton, Stolarz will get a chance to compete for the number one job. He is a pending Group 6 unrestricted free agent. If he does not play in 10 games with the Oilers, Stolarz would become unrestricted at the end of the season. There has been a great deal of suggestion that the Stolarz move was prompted by the return of Andrej Sekera to the Edmonton lineup this week. The team needed salary space to make that possible.
Hurtubise does it all
You would have to look far and wide through the history of hockey in all countries and at all levels to try to find anything like what St. Thomas Stars goaltender Anthony Hurtubise did against the Komoka Kings. The game went to overtime tied 0-0. Not only did Hurtubise finish off a shutout, but he also scored the game-winning goal. With Komoka in need of points in the standings, they elected to pull their goalie. The puck came to Hurtubise in the Stars’ end and he flipped it the length of the ice and into the empty net.
READ MORE: London Knights bounce Otters in Erie
The Knights will play their third consecutive road game on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Peterborough. The Petes acquired Ryan Merkley from Guelph earlier this year and appeared ready to try to make some noise. With 12 games to go, they find themselves fighting for their playoff lives, trying to hold off the Barrie Colts. The Petes are 7-14-1-2 since dealing for Merkley. They were 18-14 before the trade. After that, London comes home for three games in a row beginning Friday, Feb. 22 against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Budweiser Gardens.
Coverage on 980 CFPL will get going at 6:30 for both games. You can also hear the games on www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.