KNIGHTS WIN 15TH STRAIGHT
Connor McMichael had a four-point game as the London Knights cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs on Friday night.
McMichael scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season and chipped in two assists as London stretched their winning streak to 15 games in front of a sold-out crowd at Budweiser Gardens.
The Knights got offensive contributions from 13 of their 18 skaters. Dalton Duhart and Antonio Stranges each had a goal and an assist and Evan Bouchard and Alex Turko ended the game with a pair of assists apiece.
As impressive as London’s offensive output was, their defensive play had fans talking as they headed out onto the concourse after the second period. At that point in the game, the Knights had a 6-0 lead and had held Kingston to just nine shots on goal.
The Knights are now the owners of the two longest active streaks in the Ontario Hockey League. Their 15 wins are ten ahead of the Sudbury Wolves and London now has the longest unbeaten-in-regulation streak as well. They are 17-0-1 since Oct. 19, and got a helping hand from a team in another league on Friday when the Gatineau Olympiques defeated the Ottawa 67’s 2-1 in regulation to end Ottawa’s unbeaten streak at 23 games.
London will finish out their weekend schedule with a game in Owen Sound on Saturday night.
How the goals were scored
Connor McMichael opened the scoring at 10:57 as he deflected an Evan Bouchard shot from the blue line past Brendan Bonello and into the Kingston net.
Before the end of the period, Liam Foudy put the finishing touches on a feed in front from Alex Turko that came at the end of a long Knights possession in the Kingston zone where they worked the puck all around the ice and then put it in the net for a 2-0 advantage through 20 minutes.
Duhart set up Stranges before the five-minute mark of the second period and then London broke the game open with three goals in a 3:34 span. Duhart, Nathan Dunkley, and Adam Boqvist all scored to extend the London lead to 6-0 and that chased Bonello from the Frontenac net.
The reality of instant replay played itself out halfway through the third period when officials actually had to rewind time. A Josh Nelson shot on goal at 9:48 appeared to hit the crossbar and stay out. Play then continued for roughly three and a half minutes without a whistle and then Paul Cotter of the Knights scored.
The officials reviewed Nelson’s goal and ruled that it had gone into the net. Time was reset back to 9:48 of the third period and Cotter’s goal was negated, but London still led 7-0.
McMichael scored the Knights’ final goal on a beautiful pass and deke that Stranges set up as he threaded a puck through a set of skates to McMichael who was cutting to the net.
Kingston scored a goal at 11:28 of the third period as former Knight Lucas Rowe slapped a puck that went wide of the net, came off the end boards and was knocked in by Ian Martin, breaking Joseph Raaymakers’ shutout bid.
Raaymakers wins award
Knights goalie Joseph Raaymakers posted a 1.99 goals against average and a .936 save percentage in the month of November and those numbers earned him OHL Goaltender of the Month honours. Raaymakers helped London stretch their winning streak to 13 games with a perfect record of his own, going 8-0-0-0. The Chatham native is in his over-age year for the Knights. He attended training camp this fall with the Columbus Blue Jackets and appeared in one pre-season game. Raaymakers had a perfect spot to watch his London teammate Liam Foudy score his first goal at the NHL level. It happened in that same period and just happened to be set up by a former Knight, Josh Anderson.
Not long after Evan Bouchard, Alex Formenton and Liam Foudy found out that they had been invited to Team Canada’s final selection camp for the World Junior Hockey Championship, London defenceman Adam Boqvist was told that he would be a part of Sweden’s preliminary roster for this year’s tournament in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. Matvei Guskov is also away representing his country. He is at the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta. That tournament starts on December 9. Knights Head of Security Bob Martin is also headed west where he will serve as Head of Security for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
The Knights head for Owen Sound on Saturday where they will play the Attack for the final time in the regular season inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. The first two games between the teams in Owen Sound have been tight. The first meeting saw the Attack take a 1-0 lead into a wild third period that saw the clubs combine for six goals. Owen Sound survived a late London push and won 4-3.
The second game between the teams was a little different. The Knights and the Attack were tied 4-4 after 40 minutes. Owen Sound went ahead on a goal by Maksim Susko just over 12 minutes into the third period but London’s Nathan Dunkley tied the game with under 14 seconds left in regulation and the game eventually went to a shootout. Three Jordan Kooy saves and a Stranges goal gave the Knights a 6-5 win.