Four London Knights had three-point afternoons as London defeated the Erie Otters 8-5 in Erie, Pa., on Sunday afternoon.
London built an 8-1 lead through 40 minutes as Kevin Hancock scored twice and added an assist. Evan Bouchard, Alex Formenton and Adam Boqvist each chipped in a goal and two assists for the Knights.
Bouchard extended his point streak to six games. He has nine points during the streak. Formenton scored his tenth goal of the year in just his 19th game. He began the year with the Ottawa Senators and then missed just under two months after suffering a leg injury at Team Canada’s final World Junior selection camp.
Erie battled back with four consecutive third-period goals to get to within three of London, but the Knights closed out the game from there and picked up their 39th victory of 2018-19.
London outshot Erie 39-26 and went two-for-three on the power play. The only man advantage that the Knights failed to score on came with under three minutes remaining in the third period and London used it to drain time off the clock.
The Knights are six points ahead of the Soo Greyhounds and nine points ahead of the Saginaw Spirit in the race for first place in the Western Conference. All three teams have 13 games left to play.
Ottawa leads the Knights by six points for first overall. London has two games in hand on the 67s. London leads the OHL in goals for per game and sits second behind Ottawa in goals against per game.
The London Knights talked about getting off to a good start and got exactly that as they came out flying, drew a penalty and scored the first of four goals in the opening period on a penalty shot. Londoner Ryan Martin was called for closing his hand on the puck in the Erie crease and Kevin Hancock made good on the ensuing penalty shot for his 42nd goal of the year.
Alex Formenton and Paul Cotter had the Knights ahead 3-0 by the 6:27 mark and London captain Evan Bouchard added a fourth goal before the horn went to end period one.
With Erie creating chances early in the second period, Formenton set up Hancock to make it 5-0 London and stifle the Otters’ momentum.
The Knights added a goal after that from Cole Tymkin, who was set up by Liam Foudy for his 20th goal of the season. Adam Boqvist and Josh Nelson scored with under four minutes to go in the second period and that gave London a large cushion that helped to weather an Erie storm in the third.
The Knights will finish back-to-back road games in Mississauga on Family Day. 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 on a night when the Team of the Century was looking on. The 2004-2005 London Knights Memorial Cup championship team had been honoured before that game. The Steelheads are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They are trying to hold off the Hamilton Bulldogs and the North Bay Battalion to keep their spot.
London will be in Peterborough on Thursday, February 21 and home to host Hamilton on Friday, February 22.