By: Karina Leung
The London Knights continued to assert their dominance over the league by picking up another two wins over the weekend, leading to a 5-0 record to start to the 2021-2022 regular season.
On Friday, October 15, the visiting Windsor Spitfires faced off against London at Budweiser Gardens, where the arena was at 100% capacity for the first time since 2020. To the cheers of thousands of fans in the crowd, the Knights put on a spectacular show, with the team raining in five goals and letting only one through courtesy of a staunch defence and the talents of goaltender Brett Brochu.
Just three minutes into the opening frame, London rookie Colton Smith tallied his first goal in his OHL career, capitalizing on a steal by Sean McGurn and ringing it in from the middle of the circle. Then, in the second, it was Smith again who would find the back of the net off a passing play by Max McCue and Brody Crane. The Spitfires responded with their only goal of the game just under a minute later, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Knights, who scored two more in the middle frame.
Stuart Rolofs scored on a rebound from Isaiah George’s shot from the point on the power play, while a long pass from Brochu to captain Luke Evangelista would find McCue at the front of the net for the Knight’s third goal of the game. Early in the third, McGurn would get his turn as he muscled through the Spitfires defence from the boards to score in tight, ending the game with a total of five goals to the Spitfires’ one.
On Saturday, the Knights made a road trip to Sarnia for their first tilt of the regular season against the Sting. Smith and McGurn would combine to score the opening goal again, this time on the power play. However, Sarnia quickly responded with a shorthanded goal to even things up.
In the second, Smith continued to put on a show by tallying two more goals to seal his first OHL career hattrick. The first came from a pass along the boards from McCue and Crane, allowing Smith to score from right in front of the crease. The second came from a shot right along the red line, bouncing off the goalie’s pad and into the net.
McGurn would also add onto his success from the night before by scoring the Knights’ fourth goal of the game on the player advantage, sliding in a one timer from a cross ice pass from Gerard Keane. However, the Sting would claw back with three consecutive goals to even up the score and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, after a massive game-saving stop from Brochu on a two-on-one, Evangelista would make a quick pass to McGurn in front of the net to seal the Knights’ 5th straight win to open the season.
The weekend was a success, particularly for Knights rookie Colton Smith who racked up a total of five goals on seven shots. Sean McGurn came close with five points for the two games, with three of them being goals.
The London Knights are now 5-0 in the season and sit on top of the Midwestern Division in the OHL. They’ll play their next game at home at Budweiser Gardens on Friday, October 22 against the Owen Sound Attack.
Single game tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased at https://bit.ly/3yAZxc2.