Liam Foudy’s goal at the three-minute mark of overtime ended a wild slugfest and gave the London Knights a 7-6 victory over the Sarnia Sting on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.
Like a sleek new car kicking into overdrive, Foudy brought the puck across the Sting blue line, slowed as if someone was pressing his clutch and then ignited as he roared around a defender and outwaited Sarnia goaltender Aidan Hughes before wristing the puck over the six-foot-four-inch goaltender for the game-winner.
It was a night that saw both teams fight back in the game and also saw about as much in the way of hard hits and scrappy play as you are going to find in an October game in 2018.
The game saw a few firsts as Knights goalie Joseph Raaymakers picked up his first victory, Josh Nelson got his first goal of the season, Will Lochead scored his first in a London uniform and the Knights picked up their first power-play goal.
Connor McMichael had two goals and an assist for the Knights. London’s Alec Regula had two assists, but is expected to miss time this weekend after being assessed an instigator penalty inside the final five minutes.
London came into the night as the owners of the fewest games played so far this year, but they will change that as they head on the road for two more games this weekend.
The Knights wore blue jerseys helping to promote the Dream Lottery and the Children’s Health Foundation.
How the goals were scored
Sarnia struck twice to open the game. Former Soo Greyhound Calvin Martin tipped in a Nick Grima shot just two minutes and 51 seconds into the game and then Sarnia rookie Jacob Perrault got his stick on a bouncing puck at the side of the London net to score his fifth goal in seven games and put the Sting up 2-0.
London responded with five unanswered goals sparked by Londoner Will Lochead’s first as a Knight. Lochead stripped a puck free just inside the Sarnia blue line, went around a defender and slipped the puck through the legs of Aidan Hughes to cut the Sting lead in half and sparked his team.
Tonio Stranges scored his second career OHL goal just over a minute later to tie the game 2-2 and the teams skated to their dressing rooms deadlocked.
London continued to roll as the second period began. Cole Tymkin’s fourth goal of the season gave the Knights the lead just 1:07 in and two goals from Connor McMichael stretched London’s lead to 5-2. The first of McMichael’s pair came on the power play and gave London their first goal on the man advantage this season.
Sarnia used special teams to battle their way back into the game as they scored twice short-handed before the middle period came to an end. Franco Sproviero and Flyers’ draft pick Anthony Salinitri scored less than two minutes apart and the Knights held a 5-4 advantage going into the third.
Two minutes and nine seconds into the third period, Billy Moskal and Josh Nelson of London broke in on a two-on-oh and Moskal fed Nelson for his first goal of the year and a 6-4 Knights lead.
Sarnia chipped away with a power-play goal by Mitch Eliot to make it 6-5 and then tied the game on a wrist shot from Hugo Leufvenius with 2:58 remaining.
That took the teams to overtime where Liam Foudy ended it with his fourth goal in five games since returning from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Three games in 46 hours continue for the Knights with a game on Saturday night in Owen Sound. The teams met on Oct. 5 and London scored four times in the third period to come back and beat the Attack 4-1. The Knights will be in Guelph on Sunday afternoon. You can hear coverage of both games on 980 CFPL, at 980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app. The pre-game show will start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.