Three goals from Alex Formenton helped the London Knights complete a three-win weekend with a 6-3 victory against the Erie Otters on Sunday afternoon.
The victory stretched London’s winning streak to nine games and gave them an 11-0-1 record in their last 12 games.
It also keeps the Knights alone atop the Western Conference standings.
“We started out pretty well,” said Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter. “We got away from our game plan in the second, and came up big for us and kept us in it and then we were able to get the scoring we needed later in the game.”
Raaymakers ended the game with 41 saves. Many of his best came during Erie’s six power-play opportunities. London killed off every one of them and did not allow a power play goal all weekend.
The Knights rank first in the OHL in penalty killing with a 92.2 per cent efficiency rate. Windsor is next at 86 per cent.
Hunter pointed out that the team is starting to look comfortable with each other on the ice.
“Once you get to that point, it’s a great place to be. It allows you to put out different pairs of and different forwards, depending on the situation, and everyone meshes.”
London finished three games in three days in three different cities and outscored their opponents 15-7, beating Peterborough 7-3 on Friday at Budweiser Gardens and Guelph 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday afternoon.
How the goals were scored
Liam Foudy and Alex Formenton combined to open the scoring short-handed as Foudy carried a puck across the blue line on a partial break, took a look over his shoulder, saw Formenton and slid the puck back to the Senators prospect for a backhanded tap-in and a 1-0 London lead.
Dalton Duhart put the Knights ahead 2-0 less than four minutes later as he skated down the left side, cut to the net and put a backhand deke underneath Erie goalie Daniel Murphy to give the Knights a 2-0 advantage through the first 20 minutes.
Erie worked its way back into the game early in the second period as Petr Cajka wired a low wrist shot into the London net and then defenceman Kurtis Henry fit a puck through a screen to knot things 2-2.
London went ahead 3-2 on Formenton’s second of the night as he lasered a shot past Murphy from the left side of the Erie end.
Erie tied the game again as a batted puck landed beside Otters’ forward Gera Poddubnyi in front of the London net, and he banged it in to make the score 3-3.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the third, Adam Boqvist kept a puck in at the right point of the Erie zone and quickly whipped a shot at the net, energizing London and demoralizing the Otters.
Exactly one minute later, Evan Bouchard slapped a shot from the middle of the blue line past Murphy to extend the Knights’ lead to 5-3.
Formenton finished the scoring with an empty-netter. It completed the hat trick for Formenton and earned Paul Cotter his first point as a Knight.
Max Domi with some history in Montreal
After being acquired from Arizona in the off-season, Max Domi has taken off in Montreal. NHL public relations has done some digging, and they have discovered that Domi is the first Canadiens player to record 24 or more points in his first 20 games in a Montreal uniform since Odie Cleghorn in 1918-19. Cleghorn had 24 goals and 30 points. The reams of Hall of Famers who would come after Odie and before Max had incredible careers, but none of them got off to the same kind of start.
Honouring the Team of the Century
Fourteen years ago, the 2004-05 London Knights were over 20 games into their CHL record 31-game unbeaten streak to start a season. That team would go on to capture London’s first Ontario Hockey League championship and first Memorial Cup championship in the franchise’s 40th year. On Thursday, Nov. 22, London will host the Mississauga Steelheads and honour many of the players who put together the season that saw them voted Team of the Century at the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament. Corey Perry, Danny Syvret, Rob Schremp, Dave Bolland, Bryan Rodney and other members of the team will be in attendance and will walk the red carpet in a pre-game ceremony at Budweiser Gardens.
London will play back-to-back home games on Thursday, Nov. 22 against Mississauga and Friday, Nov. 23 as they host Londoner Nick Suzuki and the Owen Sound Attack. The Steelheads have won four consecutive games and have some dangerous players to watch out for. Owen Tippett is a pure goal-scorer who has 16 goals in 16 games this year. Ryan McLeod has been playing the part of playmaker with 17 assists and 22 points so far this season.
The pre-game festivities honouring the Team of the Century will begin just before 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens. Coverage on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app will get underway at 6:30 p.m.
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