London Knights improve to 5-0 with overtime win in Sarnia

A big save at one end turns into a big goal at the other.

It’s the Murphy’s Law of hockey and it helped the London Knights to their best start since the 2011-12 season.

London goalie Brett Brochu robbed Ty Voit in overtime as Voit unleashed a one-timer on a 2-on-1 and Brochu came across to stop it.

Seconds later, Sean McGurn ended the game with his second goal of the game and third of the season as the Knights improved to 5-0 with a 5-4 win.

The game also featured a three-goal Sarnia comeback and a Colton Smith hat trick.

Colton Smith bangs in his second goal of three in Sarnia. Jim Van Horne/980 CFPL

It was Smith’s first hat trick in the Ontario Hockey League and it left him tied with Nolan Burke of Sarnia for the league lead in goals. Burke scored the final two goals in regulation to bring the Sting back after London jumped ahead 4-1.

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Smith opened the scoring for the second game in a row and then scored twice in the second period as he banged in a puck in front of the Sarnia net and then surprised Sarnia goaltender and San Jose Sharks prospect Ben Gaudreau with a sharp-angled shot that wound up in the Sting net.

Smith now has five goals in his past two games after getting two against Windsor on Friday.

Smith’s first goal was a hard snapshot under the crossbar that had to be reviewed before it counted completely. It did and it gave Smith his third goal in two games and London a 1-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Sting tied the game on a short-handed steal in the London end by Brayden Guy who beat Brett Brochu from point-blank range and evened the score 1-1.

The Knights came out blazing in the second period and at halfway through it owned a 9-1 edge in shots.

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Just eighteen seconds after Smith polished off his hat trick, Sean McGurn netted his second goal of the season and second in two games at the 9:15 mark of the middle period. That gave London a three-goal lead and awoke Sarnia, who outshot the Knights 11-4 the rest of the way in the middle frame. They cut into the London lead on a goal by Toronto Maple Leafs’ draft pick Ty Voit, who scored on a rebound.

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Sarnia fought all the way back thanks to Nolan Burke who scored at 8:17 of the third after a puck popped out of a pile in behind the Knight net and then cashed in on a short-handed breakaway with 3:38 remaining in regulation.

That paved the way for three minutes and 26 seconds of overtime that featured only two shots: the Brochu save and the McGurn goal.

Brochu extended his personal winning streak to 14 games with 29 stops on the night. Gaudreau made 32 saves for the Sting.

The Knights went 2-for-5 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Brochu still hot

Brett Brochu’s record-setting rookie season ended with nine straight victories and wins in 22 of 23 games. You might think having a year and a half between OHL games might act as a cooling off period but Brochu remains scorching hot. He has stopped 153 of 166 shots so far and has stretched his personal winning streak to 14 and has now picked up a victory in 27 of his past 28 games. Brochu spent the 2020-21 season in the American Hockey League with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and his attitude and work ethic in practice earned him a start in Wilkes-Barre’s final game of the year and a ticket to Pittsburgh Penguins rookie camp.

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Happy 14-6 anniversary

On October 16, 2006, the London Knights played one of the more memorable road games in team history. They travelled to historic and tiny St. Mike’s Arena in Toronto, Ont., and blasted the St. Michael’s Majors 14-6. Knights current assistant coach Dyland Hunter scored two goals and had two assists, and Dave Bolland chipped in six assists. A.J. Perry recorded a hat trick. The big day belonged to Rob Schremp who tied the Knights record for most points in a single game with eight. That team became famous for using five forwards on the power play and would make it all the way to the OHL Championship series against the Peterborough Petes.

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Up next

London will meet Owen Sound for the third time in 21-22 as the teams clash on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens. The Knights and Attack opened the season with a home-and-home series that saw London win twice by identical 4-3 scores. Sean McGurn won the Knights home and season opener with the only goal of a shootout on Oct. 8 and Abakar Kazbekov scored his first OHL goal with just over four minutes remaining the very next night in Owen Sound.

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Broadcast time will be 7:00 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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