Luke Evangelista scored twice and Brett Brochu made 33 saves as the London Knights defeated the Owen Sound Attack 4-1 on Wednesday night in Owen Sound, Ont.
Evangelista is now up to seven goals on the season and the Knights now have seven straight victories to begin the 2021-22 season.
Four of those wins have come at the expense of the Attack.
Evangelista started the scoring as he forced a turnover at the Owen Sound blue line, got to the net, deked and scored his 6th goal of the year to make 1-0 London at 7:32 of the opening period.
Just one minute and 26 seconds later Cody Morgan intercepted a pass at his own blue line, dished the puck ahead to Max McCue and McCue and Tonio Stranges headed into into the Attack end on a 2-on-2. McCue sent a pass across to Stranges and he got a shot away which was stopped by the pad of Attack goalie Corbin Votary but McCue crashed the net for the rebound and got it to score his second of the game and put London up 2-0.
Before the end of the opening period Tonio Stranges got a famous Bayshore Bounce on a shot that went wide on a London power play. (The end boards are known for being very lively at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre) The puck bounced into the Owen Sound crease and Colton Smith of the Knights knocked it home to make it 3-0 London. The goal was Smith’s 6th of the year which ties him for the OHL Rookie goal scoring lead with Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals.
Read more: Meet the 2021-22 London Knights
London appeared to go ahead 4-0 on what would have been Bryce Montgomery’s first ever Ontario Hockey League goal but the play was reviewed and called back due to an earlier offside on the play.
Not long after that the Attack got a goal back in the second period on a power play as Denis Goure converted a pass across the slot to get Owen Sound within two.
Owen Sound fired 17 shots at the Knight net in the middle period and Brochu stood strong and then London came out with a strong defensive effort in the third period as they held the Attack to eight shots which Brochu stopped on his way to being named the game’s first star.
The Tilbury, Ont., native even picked up an assist on Evangelista’s second goal of the night into an empty net.
The Knights outshot Owen Sound 35-33.
Both teams were 1-for-3 on the power play.
They will meet for the fifth time this season on November 5 in London, Ont.
Crane suspended three games
London rookie forward Brody Crane received a three-game suspension from the OHL for an incident that took place in the Knights 2-1 win over Owen Sound on Oct. 22 at Budweiser Gardens.
Crane and Attack captain Mark Woolley were racing after a puck in the Owen Sound zone that was heading for an icing call. As they got into the Attack zone Crane made contact with Woolley, who is from St. Thomas, Ont., and Woolley fell and went hard into the end boards.
Woolley initially went to the bench but eventually left the game and did not return. He didn’t play in Owen Sound’s next game. Crane received a five-minute major penalty for boarding on the play.
Up another rung
The Knights are up a spot in the Canadian Hockey League rankings and remaining the highest ranked team in the OHL heading into Week 4 of the season.
London sits behind the 8-1-0 Quebec Remparts, the 10-0-0 Winnipeg Ice and the 6-2-1 Edmonton Oil Kings. Winnipeg might have the most to say about where they sit. Not only are they perfect through 10 games, they have outscored their opponents 61-18, meaning they are averaging over six goals a game and giving up fewer than two per game.
The Knights have gone from sixth to fifth to fourth overall in successive weeks.
Another fast start for Evangelista
The Knights are off to their best start to a season since 2004-05 and they are being led offensively by captain Luke Evangelista, who has a six game point scoring streak that has seen him rack up five goals and five assists.
Evangelista started quickly in 2019-20 as well when he put up 11 points in his first nine games highlighted by his first OHL goal in that ninth game against the Kingston Frontenacs. That goal was quickly followed by two others as Evangelista recorded his first hat trick on that same afternoon.
He finished the shortened season with 23 goals and 61 points and was selected in the 2nd round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.
The Knights have another light weekend on the schedule. For the second Saturday and Sunday in a row, they have no games. That leaves Friday, Oct. 29, on a major marquee as London hosts the Sarnia Sting at 7:30 pm. The teams went to overtime in Sarnia on Oct. 16 in Sarnia, where a big Brett Brochu save at one end of the ice led to Luke Evangelista finding Sean McGurn at the other end for the game winner as the Knights edged the Sting 5-4.
This will be the second of 10 meetings between the clubs in 2021-22.
Coverage will begin at 7 pm on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.