Ottawa Senators head coach DJ Smith played for the Windsor Spitfires. He coached the Windsor Spitfires and won the Memorial Cups with the Spitfires, surviving a tough battle or two against the London Knights along the way.
But you may have had to smile when your son, Colton Smith, scored the goal of the penalty shootout for the Knights on Monday afternoon to give London a 4-3 win at Windsor.
Meet the Knights of London 2021-22
Smith skidded the puck across the blue line, brought it to the net and shot Xavier Medina to give the Knights their third straight win to start the 2021-22 season.
Brett Brochu stopped seven of eight shots he faced on penalties and made 35 saves in regulation time to win for the 25th time in his last 26 OHL starts.
London started the scoring early thanks to a pair of goals from players who scored for the second game in a row.
Stuart Rolofs said he hoped his first OHL goal on Saturday at Owen Sound would “open the floodgates.” Barely 6:17 into the opening period of his next game, Rolofs found the back of the net again while skating up front in a London power play and fired a shot into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0. .
Luke Evangelista scored his third goal in two games just over two minutes later. Overager Cody Morgan made Evangelista feel like he was in the first starting block at Firerock Golf and Country Club when he sent a pass through the slot on a tee for the Nashville Predators’ second round. Then Evangelista threw it through Medina and into the Windsor network.
The Spitfires cut the Knights’ lead in half to just 3:45 of the second period when Windsor came buzzing into the London area. Brett Brochu made two stops before Wyatt Johnston could throw a puck past the Tilbury, Ontario native to the side of the net.
Matt Maggio edged out Brochu from the left side of the London area at 4:05 in the third period to tie the game, and then 2020 Windsor first-round pick Ryan Abraham found a puck bouncing out front and slipped. to put the Spitfires ahead 3-2. The goals came just two minutes and nine seconds apart.
The teams finished in extra time and the best opportunity went to Evangelista, who entered alone but was stopped by Medina.
Brochu made 35 saves at the net for London. Medina stopped 39 for Windsor.
The Knights were 1 of 3 in the power play and held the Spitfires scoreless three times with a men’s lead.
Juolevi headed south
The Vancouver Canucks have traded former Knights defender Olli Juolevi to the Florida Panthers. Vancouver advances and former Kingston Frontenac Juho Lammikko and defender Noah Juulsen in return. Juolevi was selected fifth overall by the Canucks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft after helping the Knights win the Memorial Cup, but failed to cement a full-time spot on Vancouver’s blue line.
London Knights acquire Cody Morgan from Flint Firebirds
Goalkeeper Owen Flores has started the season with the London Nationals and already has a win and a shutout to start the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League season. Flores has appeared in three games so far and has a 2.47 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. He made 26 saves to knock out the Strathroy Rockets on October 6. Flores is from the Chicago area and caught the eye of London goalkeeping coach Daren Machesney at a tournament in Windsor.
How about an encore?
London has been producing players who are going to play in the National Hockey League at a rate well above the league average for a long time. Last year, 27 former Knights were on the NHL’s opening game rosters. The OHL average was 8.75. In 2020-21, there were 45 former Knights who played at least one game in the National Hockey League. The next closest team on the list was Sault Ste. Marie with 23. Rounding out the top five, Barrie had 20, and Windsor and Kitchener had 17 each.
London Knights overcome attack at Owen Sound for a 2-0 start
Until next time
London and Windsor will meet again on Friday, October 15 at 7:30 pm at Budweiser Gardens. It will be the first time since March 8, 2020 that the building has had capacity for a hockey game. The Knights had a maximum of 4,500 fans allowed for their last preseason game and their home opening win over Owen Sound on October 8.
The Knights will visit Sarnia Sting on Saturday, October 16.
Both games can be heard in 980 CFPL, www.980cfpl.ca and in the Radioplayer Canada application.
Broadcast time on October 15 is 7 pm and 6:30 pm on October 16.
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