Sometimes when you beat a team in their own building they will “show you the door.”
After a 4-3 shootout victory in Owen Sound on Feb. 3 the London Knights will gladly take a look at that door.
In fact they might want to thank the door. It may have played a big role in continuing London’s streak that has seen them go 17-0-0-2 in their last 19 games.
With 9:02 remaining in the third period there was a lengthy delay to repair a door in the Owen Sound end of the ice that would not stay closed.
In fact a body check by Knights forward Kasper Halttunen knocked Attack defenceman Madden Steen through it.
The maintenance crew at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre managed to fix it and the game resumed. London turned a 3-1 deficit into a 3-3 tie.
Denver Barkey scored the only goal in a four-round shootout and Owen Willmore made four saves to give the Knights their first shootout win in 2023-24.
Colby Barlow of the Attack stayed hot as he opened the scoring with a power play goal at 3:53 of the first period. It was Barlow’s sixth goal in six games.
Owen Sound thought they had another one when Servac Petrovsky seemed to score. The play was ruled a goal on the ice, but it was reviewed and determined that the puck had hit the crossbar and stayed out.
Easton Cowan of the Knights also hit a crossbar in the opening 20 minutes.
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London defenceman Oliver Bonk left the game in the first period after being struck in the face by a puck.
Bonk returned in the second wearing a full face shield and 4:06 into that period the Knights tied the game as Alec Leonard wristed a shot from the left point past Carter George in the Attack net and the game was tied.
It only stayed that way for a little over three minutes until Barlow found the back of the net for the second time on an Owen Sound man advantage. He blasted a one-timer into the London net for his 100th career goal and that had the Attack ahead 2-1 through 40 minutes.
Sam McCue banged in a rebound to give the Attack a two-goal cushion but the door delay gave the Knights a break and some new life.
Cowan scored 44 seconds after play resumed to make it 3-2 and then Bonk tied the game with a pass that banked off a leg and in with just 1:13 to go in regulation time. It was the second time in a week that Bonk had scored a game tying goal. He fired a shot into the Erie Otters net with 1:19 remaining on Jan. 27.
London outshot the Attack 5-0 in overtime but Carter George kept the puck out.
That set the stage for Willmore and Barkey in the shootout.
The Knights outshot Owen Sound 46-27.
London was 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Attack were 2-for-5.
Barkey’s short-handed pursuit
Knights forward Denver Barkey has more short-handed goals than 50% of the teams in the Ontario Hockey League have. His seventh of the year came on Feb. 2 against the Erie Otters when Erie goalie Jacob Gibbons gave the puck away to Easton Cowan and Cowan found Barkey going to the Otters net all by himself. Barkey has the most short-handed goals in an OHL season since Tucker Robertson scored eight in 2021-22.
The OHL single-season record belongs to Keith Osborne of the Niagara Falls Thunder who racked up 12 short-handed goals in the 1988-89 season. Osborne was selected 12th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in only 16 games in the National Hockey League but played professional hockey in North America and Europe from 1989 through to 2000-01.
London now has 22 short-handed goals this year as a team. The 2015-16 Barrie Colts scored 28.
London will complete three games in three cities in 48 hours when they play the Storm in Guelph at 4 p.m., on Feb. 4.
The Knights and Storm have not seen each other since Nov. 15 but have played three of the six regular season games against each other already. London has won all three by a combined score of 13-3.
Former Knight Brody Crane who is from Union, Ont., and Zander Vecchia of Ridgetown, Ont., were both acquired by Guelph at the 2023 OHL trade deadline.
Coverage will start at 3:30 p.m., on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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