A 7-2 loss to the Knights has made the Owen Sound Attack victim No. 3 and No. 11 as London extended their win-streak Friday night at the Budweiser Gardens.
Owen Sound previously lost to the Knights at the Bayshore, 6-5, via the shootout on Nov. 3. That game was the Knights version of Christmas Eve. The next day Alex Formenton and Evan Bouchard returned to the green-and-gold in Kitchener, and they haven’t lost since.
The Attack managed to slow the charging the Knights in the first period. Despite London’s offensive fire power their power play ranks near the bottom of the Ontario Hockey League with 10 goals in 76 attempts.
The Attack were dinged for two minor penalties in the first period and managed to keep the puck out, as did the Knights when Owen Sound’s sixth-ranked power play unit failed to convert on two opportunities.
Mack Guzda and Jordan Kooy kept the disk out as both teams registered 13 shots in the opening frame.
The parade to the penalty box continued in the second period. After twenty minutes nine infractions were flagged and the Knights had a 2-0 lead.
Adam Boqvist opened the scoring at the 14:08 mark with the teams at even strength. The Chicago Blackhawks first-round pick took a pass from Formenton and streaked down the middle beating Guzda with the backhand deke for his fifth of the year.
Alec Regula made it 2-0 minutes later after some quick hands and feet behind the net by Liam Foudy opened up a passing lane, and the big defender made no mistake.
Regula’s goal goes in the books as a shorthanded marker as Evan Bouchard was in the box for a roughing penalty.
London completed the cycle in the third period when Boqvist scored his second of the game on the power play while Markus Phillips served a high-sticking penalty. The goal gave the Knights an even-strength, shorthanded, and power play tally.
Billy Moskal’s hot-shot made it 4-0 just over five minutes into the final frame.
Kevin Hancock spoiled Kooy’s shutout, and extended his point streak to nine games with goal No. 21 on the season.
Two of the OHL’s fastest skaters combined for the Knights fifth goal. Formenton streaked down the right side and slammed on the brakes before finding a trailing Liam Foudy who put the puck behind Guzda.
The goal was Foudy’s 10thof the year.
Alex Turko and Zach Roberts traded markers within the final three minutes to make the score 6-2 before Connor McMichael added the Knights exclamation mark.
No loved was lost between the two rivals as three players were ejected from the contest.
“It’s a big weekend with three in-conference games” Kevin Hancock said of the team’s daunting three-in-three.
Over the span of three days the Attack face two of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top-10 teams – according to the most recent rankings that lists both London and Sault Ste. Marie – and a Saginaw Spirit team on Sunday fresh off a coaching change desperate to meet lofty pre-season expectations.
It’s the Attack’s third three-game weekend set already this season, and they’ve yet to win on the Sunday.
Hancock said the Attack took both Monday and Tuesday off in advance of the weekend, and preparing for the series would be important.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff, foam rollers and stretching, and an ice tub back there. It’s too cold for me. I used to go in, now I’m too old I guess,” said the Attack’s over-age leading scorer.
Guzda stopped 31 of 38 shots while Kooy got in front of 33 of the Attack’s 35 attempts at the net.
Owen Sound gets right back at it Saturday night when they host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at the Bayshore. The Greyhounds sit behind only the Knights atop the Western Conference table and will make their first trip to Owen Sound this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
* With files from Matt Adam