London Scores Two Third Period Power-Play Goals to Beat Sarnia 4-1
By Carl Chimenti
The London Knights scored twice on the power-play in the third period to break open a close game and that was enough to secure a 4-1 win Tuesday night at the Budweiser Gardens.
Sarnia trailed 2-1 entering the final stanza but the Knights struck quickly 55 seconds in with the man-advantage on a goal from Jacob Julien, his 9th (Winnipeg Jets) and Easton Cowan (11th) (Toronto Maple Leafs) at 7:11, also on the power-play to put the game out of reach. Julien ended up with a three-point night (1-2-3) and was selected as the first star. Cowan had a goal and an assist. Max McCue (6th) (San Jose Sharks) and rookie Jared Woolley also scored once. For Woolley it was his first career OHL goal and it came at 5:15 of the first period sending the Teddy Bears flying onto the ice. Wooley was named the third star and Denver Barkey (Philadelphia Flyers), who along with Oliver Bonk (Philadelphia Flyers) contributed a pair of assists was the second star.
James Barr scored the lone Sting goal in the second period on the power-play with Jacob LeBlanc and Captain Cooper Way assisting on the scoring play. Nick Surzycia was simply outstanding in net for the Sting with 40 saves to keep Sarnia within striking distance. London out-shot Sarnia 44-23. The Sting went 1/8 while the Knights scored twice with the man-advantage in eight chances. The game featured the first meeting between the Sim brothers – Rookie Lane for Sarnia and Landon (St. Louis Blues) for London in an OHL game.
Lane was appearing at the Budweiser Gardens for the first time in the OHL while Landon was making his 2023-24 debut, since recovering from a long injury. London opened the scoring and the Teddy Bears rained down on a goal from Woolley, playing in just his sixth OHL game with assists from Julien and Barkey. Surzycia was the star of the opening period as he made numerous exceptional saves to keep the Sting in the game with his best coming on a highlight glove save off the stick of Cowan, who broke in alone while the Knights were killing a minor penalty. Sarnia had a couple of power-play chances and came close to scoring with three shots on their first man-advantage and 2 shots on the second power-play. London out-shot Sarnia 12-10. The Sting were assessed a minor penalty in the final seconds but the Knights were able to keep possession on the delay giving London the full 2 minutes on the power-play to start the second period. Despite the fact that both teams traded second period goals, Surzycia stood on his head making save after save with many in the high danger zones. Surzycia totaled 29 saves through the first two periods. McCue put the Knights up 2-0 at 3:10 with Julien and Kasper Halttunen (San Jose Sharks) assisting.
The Sting scored 18 seconds later with a power-play goal at 3:28 from Barr. Barr and Jacob LeBlanc contributed on the give and go and Barr blasted a shot from just inside the blue line. In addition to Jacob, Way also was credited with the second helper. London appeared to score late in the middle stanza but the play went under review and the goal was disallowed due to an offside ruling. Sarnia’s Dennis Lominac and London’s Halttunen engaged in a fight at 10:27 with Lominac landing a couple of hard blows before both players fell to the ice.