Three points from Nicolas Porco helped to prevent the London Knights from picking up a perfect 10 against the Owen Sound Attack.
Owen Sound edged London 5-4 on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens to steal the final game of the 10-game season series between the clubs.
The Knights won the first nine in sometimes dramatic fashion. Five games were decided by a single goal, two of those went to overtime and one all the way to a shootout.
After a goal by Cody Morgan tied the game 2-2 early in the third period, Porco scored short-handed to put Owen Sound back into the lead. Porco then stretched that lead to 4-2 with an even strength goal at 8:36 remaining in regulation time.
London got to within a goal of the Attack twice over the last half of the third period on goals by Morgan and Luke Evangelista but a Colby Barlow empty-netter stood up as the game winner. Morgan’s second of the game crossed the goal line with 20.2 seconds left.
Morgan ended the night with two goals and two assists. Evangelista and Tonio Stranges each had a goal and an assist.
The goal by Stranges came on a second period power play, giving the Dallas Stars prospect 30 on the season.
Ethan Burroughs and Julian Fantino had the other goals for the Attack.
Owen Flores made 23 saves in net for the Knights. Nick Chenard made 29 stops in the Owen Sound goal.
London dominated in a very bust faceoff circle throughout the game winning 45 of 72 draws.
Horvat performs perfection
The Knights’ prowess in the faceoff circle against the Attack continued a longtime trait of the team under head coach Dale Hunter.
Read more: London Knights: Back in time — May 17
Hunter was excellent on faceoffs as a player in the National Hockey League. Bo Horvat, who played for London from 2011-14, was about as perfect as a player can be as he went 17-for-17 against the Arizona Coyotes on Apr. 7.
The Rodney, Ont., native also scored his career-high 30th goal for Vancouver in that same game.
Evangelista, Stranges and Brochu signing autographs
On Monday, Apr. 11 the Knights will be holding a player appearance at 5 p.m. at Masse’s No Frills at 925 Southdale Rd. W., in London, Ont.
Luke Evangelista, Tonio Stranges and Brett Brochu will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans for the first time since the pandemic began. The Knights will also be selling playoff tickets and fans will have a chance to win a signed jersey from one of the players.
The race for the Midwest Division title between the Knights and the Guelph Storm will see its final head-to-head matchup on Sunday, April 10 at Budweiser Gardens.
A Guelph loss in Windsor on April 8 has London’s magic number to clinch the Midwest Division at one point.
At the moment, the Knights own the first tiebreaker between the teams which wins in regulation and overtime combined. Shootout wins are removed from a team’s total. If London and the Storm wind up tied in the standings in points and victories, then the next tiebreak comes down to their season series. Guelph has secured that with six wins in the 10 games between the clubs so far.
Coverage starts at 1:30 on Apr. 10 on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.