On a night that was focused on the debut and return of two OHL veterans, a few youngsters helped to steal the show as the London Knights defeated the Erie Otters 6-2.
Second-year forward Tonio Stranges scored twice while another sophomore, Luke Evangelista, had three assists. Rookie Brett Brochu made 25 saves in his first regular-season start in the Ontario Hockey League for his first career victory.
That’s not to say that the veterans sat quiet on the night.
Alec Regula made his return from the Detroit Red Wings and scored a goal and added an assist. Ryan Merkley made his London Knights debut after being acquired earlier in the day and recorded two assists.
Connor McMichael upped his goal total to four with a pair.
He opened the scoring on a feed from Evangelista for the only goal of the first period.
Brochu made sure of that with an incredible glove save at the side of the net for one of his 23 stops on the night.
Stranges put London ahead 2-0 early in the second period, only to have the Otters cut the Knights lead in half courtesy of a Jack Duff wrister that got under the arm of Brochu.
Evangelista sent a feather pass to Matvey Guskov for his first of the season for a 3-1 London advantage through 40 minutes.
Once again Erie got to within one goal when Chad Yetman buried a Jacob Golden feed from behind the net just 38 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Goals by Stranges, Regula and McMichael put the game away for the Knights.
London outshot the Otters 37-25 and went 1-for-4 on the power play.