Knights clinch first place in Midwest Division – London
The London Knights entered their 11th and final game against the Guelph Storm needing a point to clinch the Midwest Division.
They didn’t know it at first, but it only took one goal in 59 minutes and 56.4 seconds to get that point.
London forward Brody Crane, a native of Union, Ont., rebounded off Cody Morgan with 53.6 seconds left in regulation time. He got in front of the Guelph net and made it 1-1.
The game ultimately ended in a shootout which Guelph won, but no matter what happened in their final three games, the Knights secured the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs and first-round opponent Kitchener, Sarnia or the Erie Otters as they battle for the final two postseason spots.
The game between the Knights and Storm was as close as the scoreline suggested.
A Brayden Guy goal at 4:50 of the first period on a Guelph power play that held for the rest of the first period, all of the second and most of the third as London tried to ride out a stubborn storm. defensively to create chances that were denied 29 times by Guelph goaltender Owen Bennett. He saved some of his best work in net this year for games against the Knights.
Bennett made five more saves in a chance-filled overtime. Owen Flores made three saves in overtime and 24 in total for London.
Luke Evangelista had 10 shots on goal for the Knights but went without a point for just the ninth time in 2021-22.
Ruslan Gazizov scored in the shootout for London. Braeden Bowman and Valentin Zhugin scored for the Storm.
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When Brody Crane’s third-round attempt rang the post, Guelph celebrated a victory that moved them two points past the Owen Sound Attack for fifth place in the West.
The Knights Midwest Division title is their 11th in the past 18 OHL seasons.
Marner leads the way in 2022
If the National Hockey League season had started on Jan. 1, former Knight Mitch Marner would lead the league in points. The Thornhill, Ont., native recorded 69 points in 2022.
Marner has 25 goals and 44 assists in that span. If you prorate that over an entire season of 82 games, that comes out to a total of 146 points. No NHL player has recorded as many points in a single NHL season since 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux had 161 and Jaromir Jagr 149.
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Evangelista, Stranges and Brochu signing autographs
On Monday, April 11, the Knights will feature a player appearance at 5 p.m. at Masse’s No Frills at 925 Southdale Rd. W., London, Ont.
Luke Evangelista, Tonio Stranges and Brett Brochu will sign autographs and take pictures with fans for the first time since the pandemic began. The Knights will also be selling playoff tickets and fans will have the chance to win a jersey autographed by one of the players.
The six new members of the Don Brankley Hall of Fame
The Knights will host the Kitchener Rangers on April 13 as they induct six new members of the Don Brankley Hall of Fame. Bill Long, Darryl Edestrand, Dave Simpson, Danny Syvret, Tom Kostopoulos and Pat Riggin will be listed before the puck drops.
London and Kitchener will play their last regular season game against each other.
Rangers will be looking to even the season streak that has been completely split in two. The Knights won the first five games and Kitchener won the last four.
Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. at 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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