Advertisement

Evangelista scores three while Brochu blanks the Sault

The London Knights shut out the Soo Greyhounds 3-0 on Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Luke Evangelista scored his 39th, 40th and 41st goals of the season and Brett Brochu stopped all 29 shots that he faced.

The Knights bounced back from a 6-3 loss to the Greyhounds on Friday night with a complete team effort that made life tough on Sault Ste. Marie from the start of the game to the very end.

Turnovers at both blue lines dogged London in the first of the back-to-back games between the teams.

London assistant coach Rick Steadman said the coaching staff discussed that with the team before the puck dropped in the second game.

“We saw it multiple times (on Friday),” said Steadman. “We had two-on-ones, three-on-twos, four-on-threes going the other way and we were making it way too hard on our ‘D’ and way too hard on (Brett Brochu).”

Story continues below advertisement

The turnovers all but disappeared on Saturday and Brochu shut the door anytime he was asked — recording his second shutout of the season.

“We talked with the players about the fact that it was our mistakes that gave (the Greyhounds) all of those chances on Friday, and we had to get back to the small details of our game,” explained Steadman.

Evangelista scored his first of the game on a two-on-one halfway through the first period. He actually tried to set up Tonio Stranges. Stranges was headed to the left post when Evangelista tried to slide a pass across the slot but the puck hit the stick of Greyhounds’s defenceman Robert Calisti and went between the legs of goaltender Tucker Tynan.

The Knights had a 1-0 lead and Evangelista had 39 goals on the year.

Number 40 came in the second period thanks to a long feed from Cody Morgan. Morgan got the puck from Ethan MacKinnon and flipped it to the right side of the ice.

Evangelista took off after it and grabbed the puck deep in Sault Ste. Marie territory where he cut almost along the goal line to the net. Tynan went dow to protect the bottom of the net, in case Evangelista tried to cut in front but the London captain roofed a shot over Tynan’s shoulder to hit his latest milestone and put the Knights ahead 2-0 through two periods.

Story continues below advertisement

Evangelista completed his third hat trick of the year into an empty net at 18:06 of the third period.

Cody Morgan finished the game with two assists and now has eight points in his past five games.

The Greyhounds outshot the Knights 27-24.

Evangelista at 40

London Knights captain Luke Evangelista deked and dazzled his way to the net to score his 38th goal in his 40th game of the season on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

He followed that up with two more goals on Saturday to become only the 49th player in Knights franchise history to score 40 goals in a season.

The feat has been accomplished 60 different times by 48 players. It has been done twice by 10 players and former all-time leading scorer Chris Taylor along with Dennis Maruk managed to do it three times.

Evangelista’s former billet-mate Connor McMichael is the most recent London player to score 40. McMichael, who is now with the Washington Capitals, hit 47 in 2019-20 before the season was suspended due to the COViD-19 pandemic in Mar. 2020.

Read more: London, Ont. area Catholic board ends outdoor mask requirement for students

Story continues below advertisement

Knights go back in time

When the Knights get home from their three-game road trip to Owen Sound and Sault Ste. Marie, they will vault themselves back in time with uniforms honouring players who wore green and gold from 1968 to 1986.

London will show off that look when they face the Guelph Storm at Budweiser Gardens on Mar. 2 at 7 pm.

The jerseys will be available for auction following the game. Auction details will be provided by the Knights ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Hockey League has announced that league venues will no longer require proof of vaccination for games as of Mar. 1.

According to the OHL, “all other public health requirements, such as masking, will remain in effect.”

Single-game tickets on sale

For the first time in 2022, fans can purchase tickets to see the London Knights play in person. The Knights return home to take on the Guelph Storm on March 2 in front of a Budweiser Gardens crowd that can be filled to capacity.

London’s last two home games have been played in front of 4,500 season ticket holders.

Single-game tickets can be purchased at the Knights Armouries, at 519-681-0800 or at www.londonknights.com.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Soo Greyhounds hand London Knights their first regulation loss in six games

Up next

London and Guelph will see each other three times in March. The games will be part of the 11 total between the teams during the regular season. After the Storm won the first four meetings, the Knights grabbed victories in two of the past three.

The next one takes place Mar. 2 in London, Ont., at Budweiser Gardens.

Guelph’s last loss to the Knights seemed to give them a jolt. In the three games that followed a 4-2 loss against London, the Storm have outscored Saginaw, Owen Sound and Guelph 17-1. Guelph was edged 3-2 in Owen Sound on Saturday.

The Storm sits ten points back of the Knights for first place in the Midwest Division. Both teams have played 45 games.

Coverage will start at 6:30 pm on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

Sponsored content