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Massive night for Connor McMichael as Knights beat Erie in overtime

London, Ont. - Jonathan Gruden scores his second goal of the game against the Erie Otters at Budweiser Gardens on November v1, 2019.
London, Ont. - Jonathan Gruden scores his second goal of the game against the Erie Otters at Budweiser Gardens on November v1, 2019. Jim Van Horne/980 CFPL

London Knights forward Connor McMichael scored three goals, added three assists and scored the overtime winner as the Knights defeated the Erie Otters 7-6 on Friday.

McMichael copied some of the script of former Knight Matthew Tkachuk and his heroics with the Calgary Flames on Thursday in Nashville. Both found their team down by a goal late in the third period and managed to tie the game and then scored the game winner in OT.

McMichael now has 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points in 13 games and that has him one point back of Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs for the overall OHL scoring lead.

If you had asked anyone in attendance on Hockey Fights Cancer night whether the game had a chance to end as dramatically as it did, they would have doubted it.

London controlled the majority of the play in the first period and emerged with a 3-0 lead on goals by Nathan Dunkley, Jonathan Gruden and Alec Regula. The Knights outshot the Otters 16-5.

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Peterborough Petes’ forward Nick Robertson off to hot start
Peterborough Petes’ forward Nick Robertson off to hot start

The complexion of the game changed in a 15-second span in the second period as Hayden Fowler and Mathew MacDougall scored one after another to cut the London lead to a goal.

Very quickly, Jonathan Gruden restored London’s two-goal lead by banging in his own rebound at 5:22 of the second period. Those goals came within a span of one minute and five seconds.

Erie kept coming and tied the game on goals by Kurtis Henry and Emmett Sproule.

McMichael’s first goal of the night made it 5-4 heading into the third period.

Henry’s second goal tied the game again before Daniel D’Amato gave Erie their first lead at 5:15 of period three.

That saw newly-acquired Dylan Myskiw enter the London net in place of Brett Brochu. Myskiw was traded from Sarnia to London earlier in the week for a conditional third-round pick for Jordan Kooy.

Myskiw faced only two shots over the remainder of the third period before being lifted for an extra attacker as London went to a late power play.

That led to McMichael’s tying goal on a rebound and set the stage for more dramatics as he won it on a wrist shot at 3:04 of overtime.

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Myskiw made a save on a 2-on-0 prior to the goal.

The Knights have now picked up nine of 10 points over their past five games.

London outshot the Otters 43-29.

READ MORE: Around the OHL: Chatting with Mark Mancari and storylines from around the league

Under-17s begin out west

The Under17 World hockey Challenge kicks off on Nov. 2. London knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter and Knights forward Max McCue are part of Team Canada Black. Londoner Brett Harrison is playing for Team Canada White. Team Black and team White play each other in the tournament opener in Medicine Hat, Alta. Team Canada Red will play Russia in Swift Current, Sask. to begin their schedule. Russia comes into the competition as the defending champions. None of Canada’s three entries won a medal in 2018.

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READ MORE: London Knights complete goalie swap with Sarnia

Regula’s rights moved to Hawks

The Chicago Blackhawks pulled off a trade to acquire Knights defenceman Alec Regula from the Detroit Red Wings for former OHLer Brendan Perlini on Oct. 28. Without ever playing a game with the Detroit Red Wings, Regula built a solid chapter as a prospect. Regula’s father, Chet, was the Red Wings dentist as Alec was growing up, and he was able to spend time in Detroit’s dressing room with the likes of Steve Yzerman, Pavel Datsyuk and Nik Lidstrom. The Wings selected the West Bloomfield, Mich. native in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Regula is playing his third season in London and is now working toward an NHL future in Chicago.

Jersey auction

The London Knights are auctioning off the Hockey Fights Cancer warm-up jerseys that they wore before their game against the Erie Otters. They will be available at auction.chl.ca, with proceeds donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Fans at Friday’s game were also involved in a powerful display when the first whistle of the game blew between the Knights and Otters. For a $2 donation, fans received a card that read, “I fight for…” and they were able to fill out the card. At that first whistle, everyone in attendance raised their cards into the air in a show of support for the fight against cancer.

READ MORE: London Knights pick up five of a possible six points during three-game weekend

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Up next

The Knights will head to Oshawa on Sunday evening to play the Generals. Oshawa started the year at 9-0 before finally losing to the Sarnia Sting just a day after the Sting stopped a seven-game losing streak to open their season. Oshawa is led by veterans Kyle Maclean. Londoner Brett Harrison will not play in the game. He is with Knights forward Max McCue and Knights Assistant coach Dylan Hunter at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Swift Current, Sask. and Medicine Hat, Alta.

The pregame show will begin at 5:30 p.m. on  Sunday on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.