The Mississauga Steelheads stayed hot with a 9-4 victory over the London Knights on Family Day in Mississauga.
The Steelheads are now 6-0-0-1 in their past seven games and have victories over top teams like Ottawa, Niagara and now the Knights over that span.
London missed out on its 40th victory of the season after beating the Erie Otters 8-5 on Sunday.
The Knights got out to a solid start with a pair of goals from Kevin Hancock in the first period, but London assistant coach Rick Steadman said that seemed to spark the Steelheads.
“We started to let them dictate the pace,” Steadman admitted. “By doing that it didn’t allow our (defencemen) to get up and close gaps and they were coming back too quickly on us. That meant every time they got a chance, it was a great chance.”
The Steelheads erased London’s two-goal lead and then built a two-goal bulge of their own, which stood into the third period.
London attempted to take advantage of a big opportunity over the last half of the third period when they pulled their goalie on a power play and got a rash of opportunities, first 6-on-4 and then 6-on-3 when the Steelheads took a second minor penalty.
“I thought the guys moved the puck around well and got a couple of big chances on net and (Mississauga goalie) Jacob Ingham came up with a couple of really good saves when we needed the puck to bounce the other way,” said Steadman.
The game was London’s seventh in 11 days as they continue through the busiest stretch on their schedule.
London will be in Peterborough on Thursday and then come home for weekend games on Friday and Sunday at Budweiser Gardens against Hamilton and then the North Bay Battalion.
Kevin Hancock showed off his skills to get the scoring started as the overage Knights forward batted down a puck that bounced off the end boards and flipped it into the Steelheads net to open the scoring and then blasted a slap shot into the top corner to make it 2-0 just over five minutes later.
Mississauga tied the game before the end of the first period on goals by Alan Lyszczarczyk and Cole Schwindt that came less than three minutes apart.
The Steelheads twice scored pairs of goals under three minutes apart in the second period to take a 4-2 lead and then keep that bulge through goals by Connor McMichael and Liam Foudy of the Knights for a score of 6-4 heading into the third.
Two of the Mississauga goals came off the stick of former London Jr. Knight Aidan Prueter. The others came from Carter and Nick Isaacson.
The Knights pulled goalie Joseph Raaymakers as they went to a power play with just over seven minutes remaining in the third period. Another penalty to the Steelheads turned that into a 6-on-3 man advantage, but an Alex Formenton wrister off the crossbar was as close as London could get.
As the penalties began to end, the Steelheads managed to score twice into an empty net to put the game away.
Hurtubise does it all
You would have to look far and wide through the history of hockey in all countries and at all levels to try to find anything like what St. Thomas Stars goaltender Anthony Hurtubise did against the Komoka Kings. The game went to overtime tied 0-0. Not only did Hurtubise finish off a shutout, but he also scored the game-winning goal. With Komoka in need of points in the standings, they elected to pull their goalie. The puck came to Hurtubise in the Stars’ end and he flipped it the length of the ice and into the empty net.
The Knights will play their third consecutive road game on Thursday, Feb. 21 in Peterborough. The Petes acquired Ryan Merkley from Guelph earlier this year and appeared ready to try to make some noise. With 12 games to go, they find themselves fighting for their playoff lives, trying to hold off the Barrie Colts. The Petes are 7-14-1-2 since dealing for Merkley. They were 18-14 before the trade. After that, London comes home for three games in a row beginning Friday, Feb. 22 against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Budweiser Gardens.