Jonathan Gruden set up three goals on Sunday as the London Knights knocked off the first-place Generals 5-1 in Oshawa.
Five different players scored for London in an effort that handed Oshawa their first loss in regulation time since Oct. 20. The Knights kept their own roll going. They have now picked up 11 of a possible 12 points in their past six games.
“I saw a team that played hard and battled for every puck,” said assistant coach Rick Steadman. “They made the other team work for everything they got and when we got our chances we found a way to put them in the back of the net.”
London scored all five goals in the first two periods. Matvey Guskov opened the scoring at 8:40 of the first period when he took a feed from Knights’ defenceman Ben Roger, skated down the left-wing and beat Generals goalie Andre MacLean with a hard wrist shot.
The assist was the first point of Roger’s career.
Oshawa tied the game just under two minutes later when Ty Tullio banged in a second rebound on a power play.
London jumped back in front before the end of the first period on a goal that required replay. Connor McMichael’s shot deflected off of Generals defenceman William Ennis and went straight up in the air, off the outstretched arm of Luke Evangelista and into the net. It was ruled that Evangelista made no attempt to direct the puck into the net with his hand or arm and so the goal counted. Gruden picked up the other assist.
“I think that was our most complete game of the season so far,” Gruden said. “Guys were coming back hard and when we do that it leads to offence.”
McMichael wired home his 17th goal of the year on a powerplay 7:43 into the second period to make it 3-1 for London.
Gruden’s second assist helped to put London ahead 4-1 on another man advantage as he fed a puck through his own legs out front to Alec Regula and he scored his sixth goal of the season.
Liam Foudy recorded his seventh point in his seventh game of the year since returning from injury. Foudy took a pass at the Oshawa blue line, raced in on goal and beat MacLean through the legs on a deke.
Dylan Myskiw made his second appearance in the Knight net and his first start and the Winnipeg, Man., native stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.
“We playing amazing defensively tonight,” said Myskiw. “We kept shots to the outside and that makes my job easy.”
Zachary Paputsakis replaced Andrew MacLean for the third period in the Generals net and stopped all eight shots he faced.
London went 2-for-3 on the powerplay. Oshawa was 1-for-5.
Boqvist gets first NHL goal
All it took was one game, nine minutes and 21 seconds for former London Knight Adam Boqvist to score his first goal in the OHL. The Chicago Blackhawks recalled the Falun, Sweden, native last week and he made his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in L.A. On Sunday in Anaheim Boqvist took a first period feed from Alexander Nylander, glided along the top of the left circle and ripped a wrist shot off the post and in for his first career goal. Boqvist had 20 goals and 60 points for the Knights in the regular season last year and then added ten goals in 11 games in the playoffs. He was selected eighth overall by Chicago in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Corey Perry nearing another milestone
You name it, Corey Perry has won it. From the Memorial Cup to World Junior gold to the Stanley Cup and Olympic gold, Perry is one of two players who have managed to win every major championship the game of hockey has. Scott Niedermayer is the only other player who has accomplished the same list. Now Perry is zeroing in on a group that features 337 names. If he appears in the next three games that the Dallas Stars play, Perry will reach 1,000 NHL games played. It could happen as soon as November 13 in Calgary, Alta., against the Flames. About the only thing Perry could possibly add to his resume after that would be a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His former teammate in Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf, played in his 1000th game on Sunday.
Dale Hunter and Team QMJHL in action on Monday
While the Knights headed home from Oshawa after their victory on Sunday night, London head coach Dale Hunter went in the opposite direction on his way to Saint John, N.B., where he will be behind the bench on Monday, Nov. 4, as Team QMJHL will play Team Russia in Game One of the CIBC Canada/Russia series. Game Two will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Moncton, N.B. After that, the series goes to Kitchener, Ont., on Nov. 7, and then arrives in London, Ont., on Nov. 11. The final two games will be played between Team WHL and Team Russia in Saskatchwan in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
McMichael first Knight since Robert Thomas to record six-point night
On Nov. 1, Connor McMichael became the first London Knight to record six points in a single game since Robert Thomas did it on Oct. 27, 2017. The irony of that comes in the fact that the Knights acquired McMichael later that season when they traded Thomas to Hamilton. McMichael scored three goals and added three assists in a 7-6 win over Erie. Thomas had four goals and two assists in an 8-2 victory against Flint.
The Knights return home on Friday, Nov. 8, to face the North Bay Battalion. North Bay has had a tough season to this point.
They are 3-13 and are currently on a seven-game losing streak. One of the biggest issues for the Battalion is the number of pucks winding up in their net. North Bay has given up more goals than any other team in the Ontario Hockey League to this point in the season. Opposing teams have 96 goals in 16 games.
The pre-game show will begin at 6:30 on Friday live from Shoeless Joe’s on King Street in London.
London will be in Owen Sound on Saturday night.
You can hear both games on 980 CFPL, http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.