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London Knights edge Erie Otters to move into top spot in the OHL’s Midwest Division

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A Mathieu Paris goal and a Zach Bowen save in the seventh round of the shootout gave the London Knights a 3-2 victory over the Otters in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night.

The game was London’s second in two nights and 10th game in 20 days but it continued a roll for London that started in early November. The Knights have won six games in a row and 10 of their past 11 and now sit in first place in the Midwest Division after beginning the year 0-3-1.

Bowen wound up stopping six of seven shots in his first OHL shootout.

“I was just taking deep breaths during it,” admitted the first-year goaltender. “Just trying to stay focussed especially when it was coming down to if they scored they would win it.”

The Knights nearly wrapped up a win in regulation. It took Erie two goals in the final minute to tie the game.

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The first from Christian Kyrou with 48.8 seconds left was challenged by London head coach Dale Hunter for goaltender interference. After a lengthy review the goal was disallowed.

The Otters were given a power play with 18 seconds remaining and with 8.1 seconds left Erie defenceman Spencer Sova wristed a shot through traffic and into the top corner of the Knight net.

London had gone ahead 2-1 at the 8:11 mark of the third period when Sean McGurn stole the puck from Ere goaltender Nolan Lalonde and tapped it into an open net for his 10th goal of the season.

After a Christian Kyrou goal opened the scoring at 17:59 of the first period George Diaco worked some late-period magic for the Knights to tie the game. He took a chip pass from Sean McGurn and went in alone to tie the game with a shot that beat Erie goalie Nolan Lalonde with 33.4 seconds remaining in the opening period to send the teams to their dressing rooms tied 1-1.

Anatomy of a goal: George Diaco, Denver Barkey and Easton Cowan of the @LondonKnights describe the play that produced a #knights goal with 0.2 seconds left in the first period against @Storm_City. @George_diaco @EastonCowan

— Mike Stubbs (@stubbs980) November 30, 2022

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Against Guelph the night before, Diaco orchestrated a late rush that evened the score against the Storm with 0.2 seconds remaining on the clock.

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The goal gave Diaco 30 points on the season. McGurn leads the Knights with 32 points.

London outshot the Otters 27-25.

Bonk climbing rookie ranks

Oliver Bonk’s assist on Logan Mailloux’s power play goal on Tuesday against Guelph moved him into a tie for third place overall in rookie scoring in the OHL.

The 17-year old from Ottawa, Ont., has only been held pointless once in his last 12 games. That came in London’s visit to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Nov. 20 where he was not credited with a point but did score the game winning goal in a 4-3 shootout victory. Bonk also sits seventh overall in scoring by defencemen.

Read more: London Knights continue winning ways on the road against Oshawa Generals

Marner makes history

Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs joined Eddie Olczyk and another former London Knight in Darryl Sittler in the Leafs record books on Wednesday night when he scored into an empty net in Toronto’s 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Toronto, Ont. That gave Marner points in 18 consecutive games.

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When the Thornhill, Ont., native was with the Knights in 2015-16, he put together a 21-game point streak that saw him score 21 goals and 34 assists for 54 points.

Read more: Barkey and Brochu help London Knights blank the Kitchener Rangers 4-0

Up next

The Knights will host the Niagara IceDogs on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.

The game will be London’s 11th in 22 days.

The Knights defeated Niagara 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 27 in St Catharines, Ont. Logan Mailloux scored the game winner on a breakaway after taking a pass from Denver Barkey.