When this season ends for Liam Foudy of the London Knights, there will be a whole lot to look back at.
A goal and two assists on Sunday in Erie stretched Foudy’s current point streak to 14 games and led the Knights to a 6-3 victory over the Otters in Erie.
“Over those games, the whole team has been clicking really well,” said Foudy as he quickly shifted the focus to his teammates. “That was a good all-around game for us today that saw us get a lead and hang onto it.”
The win allowed London to reclaim first place in the Western Conference less than 24 hours after the Kitchener Rangers leapfrogged the Knights by beating Owen Sound.
London and the Rangers will meet on Tuesday in Kitchener.
Foudy admitted that the game is already on the minds of the Knights. “It’s a huge game and the rivalry is always there, plus we play it in Kitchener and that’s always a lot of fun. We need to go in there and play the best game we can.”
London sits a single point ahead of the Rangers with a game in hand.
The team will look to build on what went right against Erie when Knights rookie goalie Brett Brochu earned his 29th consecutive victory, giving him one more win than Ryan MacDonald had in 2003-04 when he was an 18-year old rookie with London. Brochu is now two away from the most recent high watermark by a first-year Ontario Hockey League goalie which wasn’t all that recent. John Vanbiesbrouck won 31 times in his first season with the Soo Greyhounds in 1980-81.
Brochu saved some of his biggest stops for the third period to help the Knights preserve their lead.
“They had some bounces that worked into their advantage,” said the Tilbury, Ont., native following the game. “I knew those were saves that the team needed and things just worked out.”
London Knights assistant coach Rick Steadman said: “There were times when the game could have been tied or maybe they could have even gone ahead and he kept making stops to keep [the score] where it was.”
Credit was also given to what London did deep in Erie territory.
“The guys pushed really hard and made some plays down low,” said Steadman. “We were a little sloppy defensively at times but I think we still managed to close it down and keep the scoring chances low and got some good looks at the other end of the ice.”
Foudy, Ben Roger, Jonathan Gruden, Ryan Merkley and Hunter Skinner scored goals for the Knights
Maxim Golod and Chad Yetman replied for Erie. Yetman had two goals and an assist and now sits with 39 goals on the year.
London won the season series with a 5-0-0-1 record against the Otters.
The Knights outshot Erie 43-29 and went 1-for-2 on the power play.
Next up for London will be Tuesday night’s battle for first place in the West at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Brochu chasing after John Vanbiesbrouck
Brett Brochu earned his 28th win on the season continues to shine in his rookie season. That ties the mark set by Ryan MacDonald in his rookie year in London. The record for wins by a 17-year old in the OHL is 36 going back to 1980-81. That’s how many games Brian Finley won for the Barrie Colts in 1998-99. Finley was in his second year at the time. John Vanbiesbrouck owns the mark for most wins by a 17-year old OHLer in his first year. He won 31 in 1980-81 when he played in Sault Ste. Marie. The all-time Knights record for goalie wins is 46. That was set by Michael Houser in 2011-12 when he won the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player.