Two more power play goals from Kasper Halttunen lifted the London Knights to a 5-2 victory over the Niagara IceDogs in St. Catharines on Saturday night.
Halttunen now has three power play goals in his first two OHL games.
He connected on a one-timer from Sam Dickinson in the third period and then snapped a wrist shot into the Niagara net two and a half minutes later to give London a 4-2 lead and some breathing room in what had been a very tight game to that point.
Halttunen is a second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks.
After the IceDogs came out fast in London, Ont., with 20 shots on goal in the opening period a night earlier, the Knights returned the favour exactly 24 hours later.
London put a fast ten shots at Dorchester, Ont., native Marcus Vandenberg in the Niagara net, but he stopped them all.
The teams traded power play chances as the period wore on. With 52 seconds remaining, Sam Dickinson sent a wrist shot from the blue line straight to the back of the IceDogs net for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Knights lead through 20 minutes.
Former London forward Mike Levin tied the game in the second period with his first Ontario Hockey League goal, as he cut across the high slot and snapped a shot into the Knight net at the 4:10 mark.
Ingersoll’s Gavin Bryant gave Niagara a 2-1 lead as he popped a puck past Michael Simpson that had come off the post on an IceDogs power play at 11:14.
Ryder Boulton levelled the score again as he fought the puck to the net with just over six minutes remaining in the second period and put it past Vandenberg and the teams went to the third period tied 2-2.
Halttunen’s goals on successive power plays at 6:21 and 9:30 broke the tie and Kaedon Johnston’s first OHL goal gave London some added insurance.
Dickinson ended the night with a goal and two assists and was named the game’s first star.
Max McCue added a pair of assists for the Knights.
London outshot Niagara 37-25.
Brochu headed for the Monsters
Former London Knight goaltender Brett Brochu is slated to begin his professional career with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL. Before the Belle River, Ont., native gets to Indiana he will make a stop in the American Hockey League. Brochu has been added to the training camp roster of the Lake Erie Monsters. The Monsters are the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kasper Halttunen describes first OHL goal
London forward and San Jose Sharks prospect Kasper Halttunen scored his first OHL goal in his first OHL game on Sept. 29 at Budweiser Gardens. The goal came on the power play after a nifty, no-look pass from Denver Barkey. Barkey set up behind the Niagara IceDogs net and fed Halttunen, who fired a shot home from a really severe angle. When asked about how he was able to hit the net from almost right along the goal line Halttunen replied, “The net has been in the same place for over a hundred years. That makes it easy to know where to shoot.”
The Knights will stay on the road for a solo trek to Sault Ste. Marie on Oct. 4.
The Greyhounds opened their season by blasting the Flint Firebirds 11-3.
Much like London, Sault Ste. Marie has a deep and dangerous defence and a good collection of skilled forwards that was enhanced by the acquisition of Jack Beck from the Ottawa 67’s before the start of the year.
Coverage will get going at 6:30 on Oct. 4 on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.