November 15, 2013

Knights Rookie Caps Comeback, 67's Drop 5-3 Decision

On a night where the top two rookie scorers in the OHL went head-to-head, it was London Knights top first-year Mitch Marner who got the upper hand, scoring the winning goal in a 67’s third period collapse, as the Knights won 5-3 Thursday.

Travis Konecny, who still has a two-point edge on Marner, scored Ottawa’s first goal, while Brett Gustavsen added a pair to give Ottawa a 3-1 advantage in the second. 

London made short work of Ottawa’s lead with three goals in the first six minutes to start the final frame.

"We have to play that way," said Chris Byrne on his team's opening 40 minutes.  "We have to be hard to play against, we have to take care of the puck well."

"We're not satisfied, we're not happy losing.  The message is that we have to play that game every night."

Chris Tierney opened the scoring for London, banking home a rebound off Marner’s shot, just London’s third shot of the game. 

Konecny took advantage of a giveaway in the slot to tie the game less than five minutes later.

Despite being outshot 21-14 through 40 minutes, Ottawa had the majority of their chances in the slot.

Gustavsen, who dropped the gloves with Ryan Rupert after the game’s opening goal, scored on a pair of seeing-eye shots to give the 67’s a two-goal advantage after two.

"He worked hard and he's smart taking care of the puck," added Byrne on Gustavsen.  "Good things happened for him and his line."

The Knights came out firing in the third, as Josh Anderson took advantage of an Alex Lintuniemi pinch to start and finish a three-on-two rush just 40 seconds in.

Alex Basso and Marner scored 42 seconds apart to give London a lead they wouldn’t surrender.  Bo Horvat added an empty netter.

Philippe Trudeau made 36 saves in his eighth consecutive start and 13th in the last 14 games.

Ottawa takes on Belleville on Tuesday in their annual school-day game.

Game sheet can be found here.

Assorted Notes:
  • Adrian Sloboda's return to the lineup was a big part of the reason Ottawa played such a solid defensive game through the first two periods.
  • Ottawa blocked countless shots in the first two periods, but once London sent more forwards to the net in the third, the traffic was too much for Trudeau.  "That's how we have to play, but for three periods next time," said Byrne on his team's ability to collapse and block shots.
  • A couple of rookies got more ice time than they're used to tonight.  Connor Graham played alongside Konecny and Tyler Hill, while Troy Henley saw powerplay time for the first time this season.
  • Hill picks up his third fighting major against his 10-fight total by taking on 6'6 Mike McCarron. He previously dropped the gloves with 6'4 Joel Wigle and 6'7 Troy Donnay of the Erie Otters, proving he's the furthest thing from a spotpicker.  
Three Stars as Selected by TSN1200

    Hardest Working 67's:  Travis Konecny Hardest Working 67's: Travis Konecny
    Some Pictures from the Game:

    Connor Brown battling in front of his net.
    Dante Salituro gaining the London zone.
    Brett Gustavsen bending the twine for his second goal of the game. 

     Click here to see more pictures from the game.

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