There is something about overtime that the Erie Otters really enjoy.
It could be the three-on-three aspect of it.
It could be the desperation factor that it brings as they chase a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Whatever it is, it helped them to beat the London Knights 4-3 in OT on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.
Jamie Drysdale, the fourth overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, took a pass and scored just 19 seconds into overtime to give Erie their eighth victory in OT this year.
The Knights had fought their way back from a 3-1 first-period deficit, getting goals from Matvey Guskov in the second period and from Alex Formenton in the third. Antonio Stranges scored the other London goal.
Luke Evangelista nearly scored his first OHL goal for the Knights in the second period, but a review ruled the puck hit the inside of the post and stayed out of the Otters net.
London outshot Erie 29-26.
The Knights sit four points ahead of the Greyhounds for first place in the Western Conference. London does have a game in hand.
The London Knights scored first in the game thanks to Nathan Dunkley and Antonio Stranges. Dunkley fed Stranges in front on a 2-on-1 and Stranges picked up his fourth point in two games.
The Otters’ response was key to how the rest of the game went. Chad Yetman scored to tie the game just a minute and seven seconds later and Erie added a short-handed goal from Joseph Mack and an even-strength goal by Maxim Golod to lead 3-1 through 20 minutes.
That had the Knights battling back the rest of the way. A goal by Matvey Guskov (his third in two games) and then a power play goal by Alex Formenton with less than ten minutes remaining in the third period did the trick, but Jamie Drysdale scored on a breakaway 19 seconds into overtime to win it for the Otters.
The Knights are 16-3-2 on Friday nights in 2018-19. London has made Friday night their regular weekly home date dating back to when the franchise played out of the London Gardens (later London Ice House). They have only been away for two Friday games this season. One was an overtime loss in Ottawa. The other was a 5-3 victory over the Wolves in Sudbury. London will play in Kitchener and in Sault Ste. Marie on two separate Friday nights before the end of the year.
London heads to Erie on Sunday to finish their home-and-home series with the Otters. The game will be the fifth one between the clubs this year. It begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Knights will go to Mississauga on Family Day Monday. In the only other meeting between London and the Steelheads this season, the Knights got three-point performances from Adam Boqvist and Alex Formenton and beat Mississauga 7-4.