There is a loose rule of thumb in hockey.
One team will win the first period. The other team will win the second period. And the two clubs will play for the win in the third.
It doesn’t always work that way but on Friday night the London Knights and the Windsor Spitfires followed that recipe to the letter as Windsor defeated London 4-2 at Budweiser Gardens.
A late first period goal by Tyler Angle gave the Spitfires a 1-0 lead.
The Knights tied the game 1-1 halfway through the second period as Jonathan Gruden converted a Conner McMichael feed from behind the net for his fourth of the season. That goal came shortly after a Knights goal was disallowed when it was ruled Sahil Panwar kicked the puck into the net as he was falling to the ice.
That sent the teams to a third period that featured four goals.
London scored the first one as Liam Foudy, in his first game of the season, tore down the ice and snapped a shot past Kari Piiroinen to put the Knights ahead just 1:12 after the opening faceoff in period three.
Windsor tied the game when a puck found its way to Cole Purboo at the side of the Knight net just over five minutes later to even the score again.
Jean-Luc Foudy scored the eventual game-winner at 13:06 with a shot through the legs of Jordan Kooy.
Angle added his second as he knocked a puck out of the air on left-wing, zoomed into the London end, cut across the slot and shot the puck between his legs for his ninth goal of the year.
Kooy made 30 saves in net for London. Piiroinen stopped 30 for the Spitfires.
The Knights’ league-leading power play was held quiet for the first time in six games.
London will next host Kingston at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Some firsts come quickly. First tooth. First smile. First step. Getting your first NHL goal doesn’t always come as naturally. Former London Knight Victor Mete scored his first National Hockey League goal in his 127th game. It came on Oct. 17 in Montreal as Mete’s Canadiens played the Minnesota Wild. In that very same game, Londoner Nick Suzuki, who was playing in just his 7th NHL game, put a puck past Wild goalie Alex Stalock for his first career goal. Montreal won the game 4-0. Suzuki is a former Jr. Knight who started his OHL career in Owen Sound before being traded to the Guelph Storm last January. Suzuki helped the Storm to win the 2019 OHL championship.
First game and first win
The Sarnia Sting went into Barrie on October 17 with a record of 0-7. They gave 16-year old first-round pick Ben Gaudreau his first career start and Gaudreau returned the favour by leading Sarnia to their first victory in 2019-20. Gaudreau made 49 saves as Sarnia beat the Colts 5-1. The Sting selected the Corbeil, Ont. native 7th overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Gaudreau is only making his OHL debut now because of an off-season knee injury that caused him to miss training camp with Sarnia and nearly a month of the season.
London’s Owen McGonigal takes over GM duties in Edmonton for a day
Owen McGonigal and his family have billeted Knights players for years. Robbie Thomas called their home his home when he played in London. This weekend Owen is in Edmonton realizing his dream of becoming the Edmonton Oilers general manager for a day with the help of the Sunshine Foundation. He told 980 CFPL that the experience has been incredible. “I have been able to hang out with the coaches and Mr. Ken Holand for awhile. It’s been an experience I’ll never forget.” When Owen was asked in a media scrum what he would change about the Oilers, his response was, “Nothing. We’re 6 and 1.”
Alex Regula honoured as part of CHL Team of the Week
Knights defenceman Alec Regula was injured at Detroit Red Wings camp but after he was given the green light to get back into the lineup, he has made a seamless transition into the London lineup. Regula was named a co-captain of the Knights on October 8 and was recognized as part of the CHL Team of the Week after scoring three goals and adding two assists in games against Owen Sound and Saginaw. Regula scored all three of those goals on the power play and was part of a run that saw London covert on four consecutive opportunities on the man advantage. The West Bloomfield, Mich., native is currently second in Knights scoring.
London Knights fans will get their first look at 15-year old Shane Wright as he and the Kingston Frontenacs play the Knights on Saturday afternoon at Budweiser Gardens. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. Wright was granted exceptional status to play in the Ontario Hockey League a year early. He was the first player selected in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Wright led the Don Mills Flyers to an OHL Cup championship last year. He set up the game-winning goal in overtime. He has nine points in 10 games so far in the Ontario Hockey league.
The pre-game show will begin at 3:30 on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.