Jonathan Gruden set up three goals on Sunday as the London Knights knocked off the first-place Generals 5-1 in Oshawa.
Five different players scored for London in an effort that handed Oshawa their first loss in regulation time since Oct. 20. The Knights kept their own roll going. They have now picked up 11 of a possible 12 points in their past six games.
“I saw a team that played hard and battled for every puck,” said assistant coach Rick Steadman. “They made the other team work for everything they got and when we got our chances we found a way to put them in the back of the net.”
London scored all five goals in the first two periods. Matvey Guskov opened the scoring at 8:40 of the first period when he took a feed from Knights’ defenceman Ben Roger, skated down the left-wing and beat Generals goalie Andre MacLean with a hard wrist shot.
The assist was the first point of Roger’s career.
Oshawa tied the game just under two minutes later when Ty Tullio banged in a second rebound on a power play.
London jumped back in front before the end of the first period on a goal that required replay. Connor McMichael’s shot deflected off of Generals defenceman William Ennis and went straight up in the air, off the outstretched arm of Luke Evangelista and into the net. It was ruled that Evangelista made no attempt to direct the puck into the net with his hand or arm and so the goal counted. Gruden picked up the other assist.
“I think that was our most complete game of the season so far,” Gruden said. “Guys were coming back hard and when we do that it leads to offence.”
McMichael wired home his 17th goal of the year on a powerplay 7:43 into the second period to make it 3-1 for London.
Gruden’s second assist helped to put London ahead 4-1 on another man advantage as he fed a puck through his own legs out front to Alec Regula and he scored his sixth goal of the season.
Liam Foudy recorded his seventh point in his seventh game of the year since returning from injury. Foudy took a pass at the Oshawa blue line, raced in on goal and beat MacLean through the legs on a deke.
Dylan Myskiw made his second appearance in the Knight net and his first start and the Winnipeg, Man., native stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.
“We playing amazing defensively tonight,” said Myskiw. “We kept shots to the outside and that makes my job easy.”
Zachary Paputsakis replaced Andrew MacLean for the third period in the Generals net and stopped all eight shots he faced.
London went 2-for-3 on the powerplay. Oshawa was 1-for-5.