It was a wild one at the Budweiser Gardens Friday night. Max Domi had 2 goals and 3 assists to lead his London Knights to a 10-5 romping of the Ottawa 67’s in front of a hometown crowd of 9,046.
Once in a 6-0 first period deficit, the 67’s clawed their way back to get within 3 goals early in the third; however, they were not able to match the skill and depth of the number one team in the league. Considering the lack of experience on this 67’s team (all but 3 players being 18 and under), the 67’s managed to skate with the Knights and generate some quality scoring chances.
Rookie winger Remi Elie got things rolling taking advantage of a 67’s turn over in their own zone and one-timed in the slot. Under two minutes later, Max Domi redirected the puck into the net to give the Knights a quick 2 goal lead. It didn’t stop there. Chris Tierney and Dakota Mermis each scored a powerplay goal within 35 seconds of each other. That would mark Mermis’ first goal of his OHL career and the Knights’ fourth of the night.
You couldn’t really fault Clint Windsor on the first four goals, but a long shot from the point off of Justin Shefton’s stick caused Chris Byrne to replace Windsor with rookie netminder Jacob Blair for relief. Bo Horvat the final goal of the period after being left all alone in front with less than a minute left in the first period, another powerplay goal. It was 6-0 Knights with the shot clock stopped at 19-13 for the home team.
The powerplay was key for both teams. London went 3-for-3 on the night, while Ottawa went 3-for-4 on the night despite being without Cody Ceci and Tyler Graovac who were both traded at the deadline. Ottawa scored all three powerplay goals in the second period including Sean Monahan’s first of the evening to open the scoring for the 67’s. Just over a minute later, Mark Petaccio would pick up his first goal as an Ottawa 67 to cut the Knights lead to 4. However, that was short lived. Tyler Ferry scored just 10 seconds later to regain a 5 goal lead for the Knights.
Monahan and Michal Cajkovsky would add two more powerplay goals in the second period. Seth Griffith added his 29th goal of the season and his 70th point which gives him a 7-point lead for top scorer in the OHL. After 40 minutes, the 67’s outshot the Knights 16-14, but the Knights still led 8-4.
Mark Petaccio picked up his second of the night after a turnover inside the Knights’ blueline lead to a mini breakaway. Petaccio made no mistake and blasted a shot over the glove of Anthony Stolarz to get the 67’s within three goals. But that would be all for Ottawa as the Max’s – Rupert and Domi – would round out the scoring and finish the game at 10-5.
The Knights had a balanced production with goals from 9 different players. Michal Cajkovsky had a great game notching one goal and three assists. Sean Monahan and new comer Mark Petaccio had a pair of goals on the night.
It doesn’t get much easier for the 67’s as they travel to Sarnia to face the second-in-the-West Sting Saturday night at 7:05pm.