The Peterborough Petes became just the third team to hand the Knights a regulation road loss on Thursday night, beating London 3-1.
It was tough sledding for the Knights on their way to Peterborough as they fought through snow squalls through Toronto and beyond and then it was more tough sledding at the Peterborough Memorial Centre, trying to get the puck through the Petes’ defence and goaltender, Dylan Wells. The Edmonton Oilers’ draft pick made 30 saves and his teammates cleared rebounds better than a 15-year old shoveling driveways for ten bucks a pop.
Peterborough players were decked out in ugly Christmas sweater uniforms.
The Petes’ Zach Gallant scored the only goal of the opening period as a puck bounced away from London goalie Tyler Johnson at the side of the Knight net and landed on the stick of Gallant. He wrapped the puck around and in for his 10th goal of the year and a 1-0 Peterborough lead.
Both teams had multiple power play opportunities in period two and the Petes knocked in a second goal as Logan DeNoble buried a rebound in front, giving Peterborough a two-goal edge.
Each team had one power play apiece in the final period and J.J. Piccinich took advantage at 4:58 as Brandon Crawley found the Knights’ captain at the Peterborough blue line with a long-range pass and Piccinich corralled it and zipped behind the defence, got in on goal and deked Wells to his left before sliding the puck in to cut the Petes’ lead in half.
London pressed from there, but could not find the tying goal and with under 30 seconds left in regulation, Zach Gallant found the puck in his own end and chipped it off the glass to Jonathan Ang and he scored into an empty net for Peterborough’s sixth straight victory.
The Knights were missing 40 goals from their lineup due to World Juniors, injuries and suspensions. Tyler Johnson made 34 saves for London as Tyler Parsons began to show his stuff in Buffalo at Team USA’s final selection camp. Olli Juolevi and Janne Kuokkanen are with Team Finland in Sherbrooke, PQ.
Riley Coome was called up and played in his third game of the season.
The Knights will play their final home game before a 12-day holiday break tonight (Friday) at 7:30 against the Guelph Storm. There are tickets available. Call 519-681-0800 x 1, visit the Knights’ Armouries or go online to www.londonknights.com. AM 980’s coverage will begin at 6:30.