Barret Kirwan’s second goal of the game came in overtime and gave the visiting Owen Sound Attack a 5-4 victory over the London Knights on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.
Kirwan got into the high slot in the first minute of OT and ripped a hard shot past London goalie Jordan Kooy for the game-winner.
Just getting to overtime was a feat by the Knights, who erased two three-goal deficits with four goals in the middle period.
Three of those goals came on the man advantage, giving London the edge in a battle of two of the OHL’s top power plays. London went 3-for-3 in the game.
Owen Sound came into London with the best power-play stats in the league but was kept off the scoreboard, going 0-for-3.
The Attack raced out to a 3-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old on goals by Ethan Burroughs, Kaleb Pearson and 2019 first-rounder Deni Goure.
As Jordan Kooy replaced Brett Brochu in net, the shots were 8-3 in favour of Owen Sound. The shots were 48-18 the rest of the way.
Co-captain Alec Regula got London’s first goal as he cut in front of the Attack net and put a shot high over Mack Guzda in the Attack net.
That was followed by Kirwan’s first of the night to push the Owen Sound lead back to three.
Cole Tymkin’s first of the season closed the gap to a pair once again and then a seeing-eye pass from Connor McMichael found Jonathan Gruden at the side of the net for Gruden’s third goal of the season. Then, 2:25 later, Matvey Guskov scored to tie the game 4-4.
London outshot the Attack 29-5 in the second period alone.
The game tightened up in the third as the teams went scoreless to bring on overtime.
McMichael and Tonio Stranges each had two assists to keep them first and second in Knights scoring. McMichael has eight goals and 14 points in six games. Stranges has five goals and four assists in six games.
Regula ended the night with a goal and an assist.
The Knights now head for Saginaw before getting a holiday break for Thanksgiving Sunday and Monday.
READ MORE: London Knights name captains for 2019-20
On October 8, the London Knights announced that Liam Foudy and Regula would serve as co-captains for the 2019-20 season. London last had co-captains in 2016 when Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak each wore a “C.” Marner and Dvorak sat next to each other in the dressing room in a kind of captain collective. Since Foudy is a forward and Regula is a defenceman, they actually sit on opposite sides of the dressing room, giving things a bit of a different and more spread-out leadership dynamic. Tymkin and McMichael have been named alternate captains.
Another captain in the NHL
When Bo Horvat wore the captain’s “C” in London, he was part of two OHL championships in 2012 and 2013 and three straight trips to the Memorial Cup. Horvat has now been named captain of the Vancouver Canucks and they would love it if they could eventually reach the same kind of heights in the National Hockey League. Horvat is already in his sixth season in Vancouver and sits two goals shy of 100 in his career. Henrik Sedin presented Horvat with his captain’s sweater before the Canucks went out and thrashed the L.A. Kings 8-2.
The Ottawa Senators went looking for a little added veteran help and found it in former London Knight Vladislav Namestnikov. They acquired him from the New York Rangers for former Guelph Storm defenceman Nick Ebert and a fourth-round pick. The Rangers will take on 18.75 per cent of Namestnikov’s cap hit in the deal as well.
The London Knights will be in Saginaw on Saturday for the first time since a wild finish to 2018-19. London defeated the Spirit at the Dow Event Center to clinch first place in the Western Conference. Saginaw has had a busy start to this year. They’ve gone 4-4-1 in nine games and are being led by rookie defenceman Ilya Solovyov, who has a goal and 13 assists in those nine games.
Coverage will start at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca or on the Radioplayer Canada app.