London Knights rookie goalie Brett Brochu may not have made the most saves in Friday night’s game at Budweiser Gardens, but he did come away with the most impressive statistic. Brochu earned his first Ontario Hockey League shutout in a 3-0 victory by the Knights over the visiting Ottawa 67’s.
Brochu made 18 saves in just his third career game as London captured their third win in a row.
Josh Nelson, Connor McMichael and Ryan Merkley did the scoring for London.
Those goals were tough to get – like finding a pin in a haystack tough. It would have been tough to put a pin past 67’s goaltender Cedrick Andree, let alone a puck. The Knights fired 47 shots at Andree through the three periods and he kicked away 44.
There were three-way passing plays and back-door drops that were stopped, but London kept coming and got what they needed to knock off the number-one ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.
READ MORE: Around the OHL: Great starts to the season
McMichael’s goal was his eighth of the season in five games. He leads the OHL in that category. Merkley had a goal and an assist in the game and now has one goal and six assists through his first three games in a Knights uniform.
London’s power play went 1-for-4. Ottawa was 0-for-6.
A melee after the third Knights goal resulted in one fight and a collection of roughing penalties, so both teams avoided what could have been automatic suspensions had the officials ruled more than one fight in the same stoppage.
London will now prepare for back-to-back games next weekend against Owen Sound and Saginaw.
Coaches named for Canada/Russia Series
On Oct. 4, Dale Hunter and Andre Tourigny went head to head as their teams played.
When Team OHL plays the touring Russian National Junior Team hopefuls next month the two coaches will be putting their heads together to try to win a pair of games in the CIBC Canada/Russia Series. The games will take place on Nov. 7 in Kitchener and then Nov. 11 in London.
Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter will join the bench as a third coach for the game at Budweiser Gardens. Rangers head coach Jay McKee will be on the bench for the game at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
28 former Knights on opening night NHL rosters
The Knights continue to produce National Hockey Leaguers at an extremely high number. 28 players who played under Dale Hunter were on the 23-man rosters of the 31 NHL teams. The average number produced by major junior teams usually comes in a 7 or 8.
The Chicago Blackhawks lead the way with the most overall OHLers with 12. Patrick Kane and Olli Maatta are the former Knights on their team. The Montreal Canadiens lead the way with three players who played in London in Max Domi, Michael McCarron and Victor Mete. Former Jr. Knight Nick Suzuki also made their opening night roster.
Former OHLers find homes in London
The London Nationals have made two additions to their roster. They added former Kitchener Rangers forward Eric Guest in a trade from the Caledonia Corvairs and ex-Erie Otters defenceman Ryan Martin from the St. Marys Lincolns.
The Lincolns added another big player to their back end this week with the return of former Knight Riley Coome. The London native played with the Lincolns during the 2016-17 season before spending two years in the OHL with London.
St. Marys remains the only team without a regulation loss in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Western Conference.
The Knights will have the weekend off to get ready for back-to-back games next weekend.
London will host the Owen Sound Attack on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens. The Attack showed off their power earlier this season in a 10-0 road win in Barrie. The Attack boast the OHL’s number one power play early on. It has been clicking at 45 per cent.
On Oct. 12 the Knights will be in Saginaw to face Cole Perfetti, Ilya Solovyov and the Spirit.
Both games can be heard beginning with the pre-game shows at 6:30 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and the Radioplayer Canada app.