London Knights edge Kingston to move into first place in Western Conference

The London Knights finished three games in three nights in three different cities with a 3-2 shootout win over the Frontenacs in Kingston, Ont., on Saturday night.

Brett Brochu stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and George Diaco scored what was the game winner as London made it back-to-back shootout victories. The team now has sole possession of first place in the Western Conference and sit one point ahead of the Windsor Spitfires. Both teams have played 44 games.

Denver Barkey scored once and added an assist. Barkey returned from the 2023 Top Prospects game on Friday in Ottawa, Ont., and either scored or assisted on all three of the goals that London recorded in regulation against Kingston and the 67’s.

Barkey shot a puck off the pads of Frontenacs goalie Ivan Zhigalov in the third period that was batted behind Frontenacs goalie Ivan Zhigalov to break a 1-1 tie in the third period.

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Kingston managed to force overtime when they pulled Zhigalov with under two minutes remaining. Maddox Callens was credited with the goal after a Paul Ludwinski shot deflected past Brett Brochu.

Logan Mailloux took a high stick to the face as he skated out of his own zone just over six minutes into the first period and had to leave the game for repairs after being cut. He returned in the second period.

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On the ensuing power play, Brody Crane fed a pass to George Diaco on the right side of the Kingston end and Diaco zipped a feed back across to the left to Denver Barkey, who scored the game’s first goal. Crane was playing in his 100th career game for the Knights.

London held the Frontenacs to just two shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes.

Former Windsor Spitfire Ethan Miedema tied the game on a Kingston 5-on-3 man advantage in the second period with his first goal as a member of the Frontenacs.

The Knights outshot Kingston 39-30.

The only playoff series ever between London and Kingston

In order for the Knights and the Frontenacs to meet in the playoffs in today’s OHL, they both have to make it to the championship series. It wasn’t always that way. In 1998, teams were re-seeded following the opening round and the matchups paired up London and Kingston in the second round. The Knights were coming off a wild first-round victory over Erie in seven games. The Frontenacs had been through an equally gruelling opening round. They went seven games with the Oshawa Generals and won. Four of those games went to OT. The teams split the first two games, but London rode the wizardry of Mark Cadotte and an overtime winner by Krys Barch in Game 4 to a series win in five games. Cadotte had eight goals in the series. That series loss began a drought for Kingston that saw them fail to win a single playoff series until 2016. London went to the semi-finals that year before bowing out to the Ottawa 67’s and then made it to Game 7 of the OHL championship against the Belleville Bulls the next year.

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Tavares on pace to break 80

Toronto Maple Leafs captain and former London Knight John Tavares is on pace to break the 80-point barrier for the fifth time in his National Hockey League career and for the first time as a Maple Leaf. Tavares has 21 goals and 48 points in 49 games this season, which has him on track for exactly 80 points for the year.

Up next

The Knights will return home to begin a busy month of February with a game against the Saginaw Spirit on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.

This will be the final regular season meeting between the teams. London is 3-0 against the Spirit so far.

The Knights will play 13 games in 24 days in February.

Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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