After a split with the Erie Otters, London Knights get set for the regular season – London


Bruce McDonald’s second period goal held up as the game winner as the Erie Otters downed the London Knights 3-1 at Budweiser Gardens on Sept. 22 to complete London’s pre-season schedule.

The Knights finished with two wins and two losses as they split back-to-back games first against the Sarnia Sting and then against Erie.

Pano Fimis scored his second goal of the pre-season to give the Otters a 1-0 lead at the 8:01 mark of the first period as he got his stick on a shot from just inside the blue line.

Bruce McDonald gave Erie a 2-0 lead with a show of skill in the second period. After a Nicholas Holomego point shot went wide McDonald was able to snag the ricochet off the end boards, put the puck between his legs and lift it underneath the crossbar and behind London goaltender Zach Bowen who split duties with Owen Willmore in the Knight net.

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Bowen stopped 17b of the 19 shots he faced.

The Knights cashed in on a late second period power play as Sam Dickinson began a rush out of his own zone and got a puck ahead to Sam O’Reilly who tipped a pass to a breaking Ruslan Gazizov who had stepped behind the Otters defence and beat Erie goaltender Jacob Gibbons with a shot between the legs. It was Gazizov’s second goal of the pre-season.

The Otters fended off everything London threw at them in the final 20 minutes including several chances on a late Knights power play that saw Willmore head to the bench for an extra attacker.

Malcolm Spence eventually knocked a puck into the empty London net to finish the scoring at 3-1.

The Knights played the game with 16 skaters. London is still missing five forwards (Jacob Julien, Easton Cowan, Max McCue, Denver Barkey, Kasper Halttunen) and three defenceman (Jackson Edward, Isaiah George and Oliver Bonk) who are all currently attending National Hockey League training camps.

Both Landon Sim and Will Nicholl remain out of the Knights lineup due to injury.

Noah Jenken was recalled by London from the Strathroy Rockets and made his pre-season debut.

The Knights will host the Niagara IceDogs on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., to begin the 2023-24 OHL regular season.

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Fan Fest will take place from 5-7 p.m. outside Budweiser Gardens. There is no charge and fans do not need a game ticket to participate in Fan Fest.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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