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London sports roundup: McMichael wins weekly award, Alysha Newman 5th at worlds

Connor McMichael, left, and Alec Regula pose with the London Knights' jersey for the 2019-20 season.
Connor McMichael, left, and Alec Regula pose with the London Knights' jersey for the 2019-20 season. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Heading into the 2019-20 season, London Knights general manager Mark Hunter was interested to see how Connor McMichael would do.

McMichael had just been selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals. He was coming off a 36-goal season last year and a strong performance at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., and Hunter wondered whether the third-year forward “could score 50 goals.”

That remains to be seen, but McMichael is off to a superb start. In his first four games, he has seven goals and three assists for 10 points and earned OHL Player of the Week honours on September 30.

The Ajax, Ont., native sits second in the league in points per game and is tied for first in power-play goals with four.

McMichael put on eight pounds over the summer and set a goal to improve on last year’s point total of 72.

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London has just one game this week. They will play the Ottawa 67’s at Budweiser Gardens on Friday night at 7:30.

READ MORE: London Knights make it a weekend sweep with 7-3 win in Hamilton

Ilderton’s Matt Read headed to Marlies

As the Toronto Maple Leafs rounded out their roster ahead of their season opener on Oct. 2 at home to the Ottawa Senators, they elected to send forward Matt Read to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Read was signed to a tryout contract in the summer and was looking to land an NHL spot in Toronto.

He has split time between the AHL and NHL with the Minnesota Wild and the Philadelphia Flyers organizations over the past two years. Read has played 449 NHL games and has recorded 188 points.

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Former London Knight Sam Gagner was placed on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers on Sept. 30 and could wind up in the AHL as well.

READ MORE: London Knights acquire defenceman Ryan Merkley

Nationals looking for another win

The London Nationals will host the Leamington Flyers on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Sports Centre at Western Fair District.

The game will feature a matchup of the top two teams in the GOJHL’s Western Conference. The Flyers sit in first place at 7-1-0-1 and the Nationals are a point behind at 7-1-0-0.

Western’s Megan Girardi named OUA athlete of the week

Megan Girardi has proven tough to score on in 2019. Two more shutouts for the Western Mustangs women’s soccer team over the weekend have taken her season total to 10 and have earned Girardi honours as the OUA’s Female Athlete of the Week.

The Mustangs are 8-0-2 on the year and sit tied for first overall in the OUA standings with Ottawa.

READ MORE: Western Mustangs come back against Windsor and roll to 6-0 record

Newman fifth at worlds, Warner set to compete

At the world track and field championships in Doha, Qatar, Londoner Alysha Newman placed fifth in women’s pole vault. Her result was the highest finish ever for a Canadian.

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Damian Warner will compete in the decathlon beginning on Wednesday.