The London Knights pounded out an 8-2 road win over the Ice Dogs on Saturday as they continue a string of six games in nine days.
The win was London’s fifth in a row.
The Knights had a good feeling walking into the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines. Every returning player came down the same hallway that they used to walk out as OHL Champions back in May.
It didn’t take long for more good feelings to arrive as London built a 5-0 lead through the first 20 minutes.
Niagara was called for six minor penalties in period one and managed to kill the first two, but eventually the Knights found some open ice and some open space through Ice Dogs’ goaltender, Stephen Dhillon.
The first came right off a face-off on a 4-on-4 as Olli Juolevi snapped a puck through a bit of a screen for a 1-0 lead at 10:25.
Less than a minute later, with London on a 4-on-3 man advantage, Cliff Pu extended his point streak to 17 games as he fired a shot off the post and in.
Another power play produced another Knights’ goal at 14:34 as Sam Miletic got a shot away from the left side of the Niagara zone, and despite breaking his stick, the puck found its way through the legs of Dhillon and London led 3-0.
One Minute and ten seconds later, Miletic moved into the London goal-scoring lead as he stole a puck short handed and outraced a defender to the Niagara net for his 16th of the season in his fifth multi-goal game.
Max Jones made it 5-0 on a shot from the slot before the combination buzzer and horn brought an end to a tough period for a sellout crowd in St. Catharines to watch.
Jordan Kooy made his second start for the London Knights and stopped both Christopher Paquette and Aaron Haydon on breakaways as part of nine first period saves. He would later record his first OHL assist.
Colton Incze replaced Stephon Dhillon in the Ice Dogs’ goal to begin the second period, but it didn’t do much to stymie the London offense.
Max Jones and Owen MacDonald scored goals, 12 seconds apart just over two minutes after the opening face-off and London’s lead was 7-0.
The score stayed that way into the third period when two more quick goals were scored in a 19 second span, inside the first minute. Johnny Corneil broke Kooy’s shutout streak after 90 minutes and 39 seconds of saves, putting a high shot over the 16-year old rookie’s shoulder.
London came bursting into the Niagara end off the face-off and J.J. Piccinich set up Miletic as he completed his second hat trick of the season and it was 8-1.
Oliver Castleman scored the final goal of the game with 57 seconds left, as the Knights put up their second 8-goal game in as many nights.
Max Jones and Janne Kuokkanen extended their point streaks to 12 games each. London’s power play was 2-6 and their penalty killing was perfect on the night.
The Knights remain one point behind the Erie Otters for first place overall. Erie defeated the Sting 4-3 in Sarnia on Saturday night.
London will play their third game in three nights on Sunday at home to the Windsor Spitfires at 6 PM at Budweiser Gardens. For tickets call 519-681-0800 x 1, visit the Knights’ Armouries or go on-line to www.londonknights.com
Photo Credit: Claus Anderson/Getty Images