Tyler Johnson may have joined the Knights eight months into 2016, but he helped them end one of their most successful calendar years, making 41 saves in a 4-1 win over the Sarnia Sting.
London players came back from their holiday break with a distinct focus on getting off to better starts in games. It didn’t happen against the Oshawa Generals on Wednesday night as London fell behind 2-0 before coming back for a 5-3 victory.
In their final game of 2016 on Friday, the Knights found their fast start, getting goals from Victor Mete and Liam Foudy in a first period that saw London fire 16 pucks at Sting goalie, Justin Fazio.
Mete’s 10th goal of the season came on a power play at 10:26 as he banged in a rebound on a power play. Robert Thomas set up Liam Foudy just over two minutes later and Foudy scored his third goal of the year.
Tyler Johnson stood tall when he had to, making three saves in a flurry around him.
He was called on to make more in the second period as the Sting jumped to life and outshot London 14-2 over the first eight minutes. Johnson held strong through the Sarnia push and London continued to lead by two goals.
Sarnia finally broke through a little over 13 minutes into the second as Jaden Lindo went hard to the net and got his stick on a centering pass from the right corner.
That goal actually seemed to spark the Knights. They tore down into the Sting zone and 49 seconds after Lindo’s goal, London restored their two-goal lead as Cliff Pu tipped in a Brandon Crawley shot with the heel of his stick.
Owen MacDonald put the Knights ahead 4-1 with 1:06 to go in the period as J.J. Piccinich brought the puck to the net and MacDonald popped it in.
Johnson made 13 third period saves to preserve his seventh win in 13 games. He was named the game’s first star.
Pu ended the game with a goal and an assist, giving him 20 multi-point games this season.
The Knights begin 2017 in Sarnia against the Sting on Sunday before heading to Windsor on Tuesday for a game against the Spitfires. London will be back at home on January 6th against the Sudbury Wolves. For tickets, call 519-681-0800 x1, visit the Knights’ Armouries or go online to www.londonknights.com
Photo Credit: (Claus Anderson/Getty Images)