Touchdown Sunday Takes Game #2
London Knights HockeyJohn Urban
Football maybe in its offseason, but don’t tell that to the London Knights, as they scored a touchdown on Sunday to prevail 7-0 over the Guelph Storm at Budweiser Gardens. Two goals from forward Kevin Hancock, along with a 27-save shutout from goaltender Jordan Kooy was all London needed to take Game #2. However, that didn’t stop the Knights from scoring 5 goals in opening 5:52 of the third period, displaying domination in front of 8,272 fans before sending the series back to Guelph.
It didn’t take London long to get on the board, just 3:23 into the contest a fortunate bounce was capitalized on by Kevin Hancock. “I was just fortunate to be at the right spot, at the right time. Took a weird bounce off of one of their defenders and it just landed on my stick and I was able to put that one in an empty net,” said the Centremen. The third goal of the playoffs by the former Owen Sound Attack would end up being the game winner thanks to his goaltender.
“Focus. The boys in front of me too, they blocked a ton of shots, kept a lot of shots to the outside and it was unbelievable the way they played,” said the Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jordan Kooy when talking about the keys to his success. Jordan was incredible on a 4 on 3 penalty kill in the second period and grabbed some clutch saves late to preserve his second shutout of the OHL playoffs.
After a tightly contested 40 minutes of action, saw London holding a 2-0 advantage in a physical affair. Just 31 seconds into the final frame, Columbus Blue Jackets 1st round pick Liam Foudy bullied his way through Guelph’s crease, sliding it home to make it 3-0. “Gives us a lot of confidence on the bench, makes us feel pretty good knowing everyone is getting a touch. Giving a little boost of confidence to each guy which helps a lot in a playoff series,” Foudy said postgame. His goal seemed to flatten the Storm’s tires, mentally crush goaltender Anthony Popovich (who didn't appear to be the same goalie in the 3rd) and open the flood gates for the home side. As London would go on to score a total of 5 goals in the opening 5:52 of the third stanza.
Along with Foudy and Hancock, the Knights got offence as well from: Matvey Guskov, Josh Nelson, Adam Boqvist and William Lochead, along with going 2 for 4 on the powerplay. “It’s cliché but it’s about being there, being friends. I’ve been on teams before where they’re clique or guys are up and down, and they ride the emotion train and they’re either too high or too low. It’s about being even keel and making sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and you just care about one another,” stated Assistant Coach Dylan Hunter when discussing what makes a successful hockey team.
Both teams get right back to work this evening at the Sleeman Centre for Game #3 of the series in Guelph. London, much like Ottawa and Saginaw, will look to stay undefeated in this year’s OHL playoffs and inch closer to advancing to the J. Ross Robertson Cup.