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The London Knights are now 9-0-0 to start 2021-22

Luke Evangelista’s goal was near the end of his first shift in overtime.

He had played all kinds of minutes during the first 60, trying to create offence in a very tight and extremely low-scoring game.

Evangelista got the puck in his own zone and could have skated it to centre, dumped it in and turned to the bench for a change.

He didn’t.

The Nashville Predators second-rounder decided to take advantage of the fact that his opponents had been on the ice just as long as he raced down right wing got a step and snapped a shot short side on lanky Owen Sound Attack netminder Nick Chenard, giving the London Knights a 2-1 overtime victory on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.

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The goal and the victory pushed London’s record to 9-0-0 to begin the 2021-22 season.

The Knights limited the Attack to just 16 shots through 60 minutes, but Brett Brochu was called on to make several important stops. None was bigger than a sprawling save with 12 seconds remaining in regulation time.

A puck that had been flipped high in the air dropped down just above the left hash marks in the London zone and Servac Petrovsky was there to grab it and instantly he was right on top of Brochu, dekeing and trying to get Brochu to commit. Brochu stayed right with Petrovsky and lunged spread-eagle as he caught Petrovsky’s shot attempt with his glove.

That stop ultimately allowed London to get to overtime and win.

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A turnover just inside the Owen Sound blue line led to the first goal of the game. The puck came off a body to Ruslan Gazizov of the Knights and he made a quick head fake and then dropped a pass to Bryce Montgomery, who blasted a puck at the net. Nick Chenard made the save but the rebound bounced to the left of the Attack net, where Cody Morgan buried his third goal of the year for a 1-0 London lead.

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After the Knights killed off two second period Owen Sound power plays, the Attack trotted out the “three times a charm” rule and made good on their third opportunity. Ethan Burroughs set up Servac Petrovsky and he wired a high shot into the London net to square the game 1-1 through 40 minutes.

The Knights outshot Owen Sound 35-18 overall and now own a 5-0 mark against the Attack with five games still remaining between the teams.

Three to the Capital City Challenge

Three of the youngest London Knights will take part in one of the most unique hockey tournaments ever to be held.

Three Under-17 teams from the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will go head-to-head in a four-team round robin that will include a team comprised of members of Canada’s National Women’s team.

Denver Barkey, Easton Cowan and Oliver Bonk will be part of Team OHL. Barkey has played eight games for the Knights this season. Cowan is playing with the Komoka Kings this year. Bonk is also in the GOJHL as a member of the St. Thomas Stars. The Capital City Challenge will be held in Ottawa, Ont., from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1.

London, Ont. – Former London Knights athletic trainer Doug Stacey is honoured at Budweiser Gardens on Nov. 5. (From L-R: Chris Maton, Rick Steadman, Dylan Hunter, Doug Stacey, Dale Hunter). Jim Van Horne / 980 CFPL

Two first times

Two members of the 2019-20 Knights scored their first National Hockey League goals this past week. Ryan Merkley scored San Jose’s second goal in a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 2. London assistant coach Rick Steadman described it as, “A classic (Merkley) goal. A nice little move at the line, float one through, get five or six deflections and it goes in.”

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Read more: Meet the 2021-22 London Knights

McMichael found the back of the net for the Washington Capitals to tie their game 4-4 against the Florida Panrhers on Nov. 4. The goal was set up by Alex Ovechkin and Brett Leason and it forced overtime in a game that Florida eventually won in overtime. McMichael had 91 goals and 190 points in 179 games in the OHL.

Up next

The Knights will travel across the border to the United States on Nov. 6 for the first time since Sunday, March 1, 2020. Only six players who played for London in that game are still on the roster now and two others are in the National Hockey League (Ryan Merkley and Connor McMichael.)

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A trip to Flint will put the Knights up against the Flint Firebirds. Flint was next on London’s schedule when the OHL announced the stoppage of the 2019-20 season.

Read more: A Luke Evangelista hat trick powers the London Knights to another victory

This year’s edition of the Firebirds has former London Knight Sahil Panwar and former second overall pick in 2019, Brennan Othman.

Coverage will begin at 7 pm on Saturday on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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Cobourg hosts 2021 OJHL Governors’ Showcase – Oct 26, 2021

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