Sunday Highlights: Knights perfect on Eastern swing
LONDON 7 – OTTAWA 5
The London Knights prevailed in a high-scoring back-and-forth affair in the nation’s capital, defeating the Ottawa 67’s 7-5. The Knights led 4-1 after one period before Ottawa scored three straight, knotting things up at four early in the third. Sergey Popov (9) and Alex Formenton (23) put the Knights ahead for good before Cole Tymkin (7) hit the empty net to help the Knights take a clean sweep of their East Division road trip with other wins in Peterborough and Kingston. Blueliners Tim Fallowfield (2), Alec Regula (7), Evan Bouchard (22) and forward Billy Moskal (7) also scored for London while Joseph Raaymakers made 40 saves in goal. Seva Losev (2), Mitchell Hoelscher (10), Travis Barron (17), Austen Keating (23) and Jacob Cascagnette (16) provided Ottawa goals as the 67’s dropped their second straight to sit seventh in the Eastern Conference at 28-26-5-3. The Knights hold down fourth in the Western Conference with a 35-23-2-2 record.
SARNIA 5 – OWEN SOUND 4 – OT
The Owen Sound Attack jumped out to a 3-0 lead but saw their advantage slip away as the Sarnia Sting charged back for a 5-4 overtime win on home ice. Jonathan Ang fed Jordan Kyrou in the slot as the Sting claimed victory just 17 seconds into the extra frame. The Sting scored four times in the third period Ang (24) and Cam Dineen (20) lit the lamp before Jamieson Rees (5) converted on a penalty shot and Jordan Ernst (27) tied the game at four with 48 seconds left on the clock. Kyrou and Ang each had a goal and two assists as Sarnia improved to 43-15-4-1. Jonah Gadjovich (23), Alan Lyszczarczyk (17), Maksim Sushko (29) and Ethan Szypula (15) scored for the Bears as they dropped their second straight decision, falling two points back of fourth place London in the Western Conference.
KITCHENER 5 – GUELPH 4 – OT
The Kitchener Rangers scored a 5-4 comeback win over the rival Guelph Storm as Adam Mascherin fed Joseph Garreffa (10) off the rush 2:56 into the extra frame for the deciding goal. The Rangers clawed back from down 4-2 inside the final two minutes of the third period as Mascherin (37, 38) and Connor Bunnaman (26) found the back of the net to tie the score at four and force overtime. Mascherin scored twice and posted two assists while defenceman Logan Stanley (14) had a goal and two helpers. Nate Schnarr (15), Isaac Ratcliffe (37), Cedric Ralph (21) and Liam Hawel (14) tallied for Guelph while defenceman Ryan Merkley had a pair of assists. Guelph loses for the ninth time in the past 10 games but managed to clinch a playoff spot on Sunday following an Erie loss. The Midwest Division-leading Rangers improve their record to 41-19-2-0.
KINGSTON 4 – NORTH BAY 3 – SO
Cliff Pu and Jason Robertson scored shootout markers to lead the Kingston Frontenacs past the North Bay Battalion 4-3 on the road. Jeremy Helvig denied North Bay’s Brandon Coe to close out the shootout win for Kingston, helping them snap a four-game losing skid. Gabriel Vilardi (16, 17) scored twice and had an assist for Kingston while Robertson (39) also tallied. Helvig made 33 saves for the Fronts while Julian Sime turned aside 34 in the Battalion crease. The Troops earn a point as Coe (9), Justin Brazeau (38) and Jesse Saban (3) were goal scorers. North Bay sits at 28-25-7-3, still within striking distance of home ice advantage while currently sitting sixth in the conference. The Frontenacs improve to 33-20-6-3.
MISSISSAUGA 7 – ERIE 2
Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett (31, 32, 33) netted his second hat-trick of the season while adding an assist to lead the Mississauga Steelheads to a 7-2 win over visiting Erie. The win puts Mississauga mere points from clinching a playoff berth with a Peterborough loss on Sunday. The Otters climbed out to a 2-0 lead before the Steelheads responded with seven unanswered. Cole Carter (22), Michael McLeod (15), Michael Little (12) and Nicolas Hague (32) also scored for Mississauga while Jacob Ingham made 26 saves in goal. The Steelheads outshot the Otters 48-28 as Daniel Murphy made 41 saves in the loss. Max Golod (12) and Hayden Fowler (9) scored goals for Erie as the Otters fell to 21-32-7-3.
NIAGARA 4 – PETERBOROUGH 2
The Peterborough Petes made things interesting in the third period but weren’t able to recover from a 3-0 deficit as the Niagara IceDogs skated to a 4-2 win on home ice. Bradey Johnson (10), Oliver Castleman (9) and Ben Jones (22) put Niagara up by three before Peterborough captain Logan DeNoble (27, 28) scored third period markers to cut the lead to one. Sam Miletic (33) added an empty netter to put things out of reach as the IceDogs hold on to fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 29-23-7-3 record. The Petes suffer their fourth straight loss as they were outshot 38-27. Dylan Wells made 34 saves in defeat while Niagara’s Stephen Dhillon picked up the win with a 25-save effort. Peterborough falls to 22-34-3-3, dropping their 18th straight on the road dating back to Nov. 25th.
SAULT STE. MARIE 5 – WINDSOR 2
The Soo Greyhounds cruised to their seventh straight win as draft eligible blueliner Rasmus Sandin (9, 10) scored twice and added an assist in a 5-2 win over the visiting Windsor Spitfires. Anaheim Ducks prospect Jack Kopacka (28) pushed his point streak to 10 games with a goal while Keeghan Howdeshell (14) and rookie Ryan Roth (14) also lit the lamp. The Hounds outshot the Spitfires 44-14 including a lopsided total of 36-5 over the final two frames. Morgan Frost and Boris Katchouk each had assists as the Hounds improved to 52-6-2-2, winning their 26th straight home game. Luke Boka (15) and Lev Starikov (4) scored for the Spitfires while Brock Baier made 39 saves in goal. Despite the loss, the Spitfires managed to clinch a playoff spot as they sit at 29-28-3-2 for eighth in the Western Conference.
SAGINAW 5 – SUDBURY 2
The Saginaw Spirit snapped an eight-game skid as veterans Marcus Crawford and Mason Kohn each had three assists in a 5-2 win over visiting Sudbury. Cole Coskey (25, 26) scored twice for the Spirit while other goals came from Ryan Stepien (9), Blade Jenkins (19) and Damien Giroux (18). The Spirit secured the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the victory, one that included 30 saves from goaltender Evan Cormier. Drake Pilon (14, 15) provided both Sudbury goals while Jake McGrath made 31 saves. Sudbury falls to 15-38-9-0 while Saginaw sits seventh in the Western Conference with a record of 28-26-8-0.