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Key London Knight tandems lead the team to 7-4 weekend win

Bread and butter.

Copy and paste.

Crane and Barkey.

Stranges and Morgan.

Some things just go really well together.

On Saturday night in Erie, Pa., a veteran pair and a rookie tandem accounted for more than half of the goals the London Knights scored in a 7-4 comeback victory over the Erie Otters.

Rookies Denver Barkey and Brody Crane did the early work combining on three goals. Tonio Stranges and Cody worked in tandem to get the go-ahead goal and an insurance marker before Knights captain Luke Evangelista sealed the game with an empty netter from inside the London blue line. It extended Evangelista’s point streak to 11 games.

Barkey and Crane have made themselves into quite the connection over a 27-hour span. The pair opened the scoring in the Knights 7-4 win over Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and then repeated the feat against the Otters.

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Barkey zipped a pass into the slot that Crane converted for a 1-0 London lead 8:44 into the game.

After Cameron Morton tied the score for Erie, Stranges fired home a puck that ricocheted off a leg, putting the Knights up 2-1 after 20 minutes.

The Otters responded in the second period.

Brendan Sellan tied the game two minutes and 17 seconds into the period and exactly one minute later Brett Bressette picked up a puck off a faceoff in London territory and snapped it through a whole lot of traffic in front of the Knight net to give he Otters a 3-2 lead.

Later in the second period a Connor Lockhart breakaway goal stretched that lead to 4-2, and the Knights found themselves with an uphill battle.

But like a good episode of Starsky and Hutch or Cagney and Lacey the Knights’ partnerships packed more punches.

Crane sent a beautiful pass in front to Barkey for Barkey’s second goal of the season with 27.7 seconds remaining in the middle period. London went to the dressing room down by one.

Barkey fed Crane for his third goal in two games at the 8:24 mark of the third period to tie the game 4-4.

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Then the veterans took over from there.

Stranges found Morgan at 13:21.

Then just over three minutes later Morgan returned the favour.

The Knights improved to 11-1-1 on the year and sit with a three-point lead over the Greyhounds, atop the overall OHL standings.

London outshot the Otters 33-28.

Isaiah George had two assists for the Knights and Easton Cowan recorded his first OHL point with an assist on the first goal of the game.

The Knights were without Stuart Rolofs (upper body), Abakar Kazbekov (upper body), Jackson Edward (lower body), Matt Onuska (mono) and Ruslan Gazizov who is awaiting his visa to be able to play games in the United States.

Read more: Knights goaltender Brett Brochu back in the net intent on being even better

Gagner and Gagner

When former Knight Sam Gagner stepped on the ice at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, Mich., on November 9, he and his father Dave became part of an exclusive group of hockey history.

The father-son duo joined Gordie and Mark Howe, Bobby and Brett Hull, Peter and Paul Stastny, Mike and Nick Foligno, and Thomas and Alexander Steen as the only father-son combos to play 900 games in the National Hockey League.

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Sam played in London in 2006-07 with Patrick Kane before both went straight to the NHL the following season.

Dave played 946 games in the National Hockey League and recorded back-to-back 40-goal seasons and 719 total points. Sam has 480 points in what is now his 15th NHL season.

Read more: London Knights defeat Greyhounds in a battle of top two teams in the OHL standings

Marietti inducted into ECHL Hall of Fame

Brett Marietti has received the highest honour in the ECHL.

The former Knight played in London between 1990 and 1993 and then went on to become “Mr. Stingray” in Charleston, S.C., with the South Carolina Stingrays for nine seasons and 550 games.

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His former linemate Rob Concannon told stingrayshockey.com that Marietti was the, “ultimate leader and teammate.” Marietti was nearly a point per game player for the Knights and was part of a big seven game first-round playoff victory over the Kitchener Rangers in 1993.

Read more: London Knights: Back in time – The Memorial Cup final

Up next

The London Knights are about to enter one of the busiest stretches of their schedule as they will play seven games in 12 days starting on November 16 in Sarnia.

It will include London’s first vaunted major junior rite of passage as they go through three games in two and a half days starting on Friday, November 19 against the Sting at Budweiser Gardens.

Then London will play a home-and-home against the Rangers on Saturday, November 20 in London and Sunday, November 21 in Kitchener.

Those two games will be the first between Kitchener and the Knights this season.

London is 2-0 against the Sting so far, having beaten them in overtime in Sarnia and then 5-2 at Budweiser Gardens on October 29.

Coverage of the Knights and Sting on November 16 will begin at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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