London Knights take Game 2 of OHL Championship Series with 9-1 victory over Oshawa Generals – London

London Knights take Game 2 of OHL Championship Series with 9-1 victory over Oshawa Generals – London
London Knights take Game 2 of OHL Championship Series with 9-1 victory over Oshawa Generals – London

Kasper Halttunen recorded a hat trick and Denver Barkey had a goal and three assists as the London Knights beat Oshawa 9-1 in Game 2 of the OHL Championship series on May 11 at Budweiser Gardens.

London has outscored the Generals 17-2 through two games and takes a 2-0 series lead to Oshawa for Game 3 on May 13 at the Tribute Communities Centre.

Easton Cowan had a goal and two assists and Oliver Bonk had three assists.

London jumped out to a 4-0 lead through 20 minutes and four different goal scorers did the early work.

Max McCue picked off a clearing attempt near the Oshawa blue line and got the puck to Sam O’Reilly and he found Ruslan Gazizov with a cross-crease pass to open the scoring at the 9:27 mark.

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Kasper Halttunen put the Knights in front 2-0 on a power play just over two minutes later as he ripped a low wrist shot past Jacob Oster and into the Generals net.

Easton Cowan connected on his second goal and sixth point of the Championship series on a man advantage at 17:09 of the opening period and then 20 seconds after that Evan Van Gorp’s first goal of the playoffs sent London to the dressing room ahead by four.

Through four periods the Knights were 4-for-4 on the power play and they were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill as well.

Kasper Halttunen talks with Kyle Grimard of Country 104.

Jim Van Horne / 980 CFPL

London scored four times in the second period as well, capped off by McCue who completed “The Michigan” as the overage forward from Sudbury scooped up the puck behind the net lacrosse-style and tucked it over the right shoulder of Oster.

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Sam Dickinson launched a long lead pass to Barkey for his second goal of the OHL Championship and Kasper Halttunen wired home two more goals to complete the hat trick.

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David Bedkowski sent a low shot through a large screen to get Oshawa on the scoreboard with 1:24 remaining in the middle period and the Knights led 8-1 through 40 minutes.

Jacob Julien tipped in a Cowan shot to complete the scoring on a 5-on-3 London power play just 3:20 into the final period and the score held from there.

Michael Simpson made 16 saves for his 14th victory of the post-season. He was replaced in the Knight net following a Bedkowski goaltender interference penalty with 10:41 to go in the game. Owen Willmore stopped all five shots that he faced.

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London outshot the Generals 39-22.

The Knights were 4-for-8 on the power play. It is clicking at 60 per cent so far in the series.

London was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and is 7-for-7 in the series.

Knights sign Cohen Bidgood

Cohen Bidgood of the St. Marys Lincolns is officially a London Knight. Bidgood has agreed to an OHL Scholarship & Development Package with the Knights after putting up 27 points in 33 games with the Lincolns in the regular season and 18 more points in 19 playoff games with the Lincolns. St. Marys currently trails the Listowel Cyclones three games to one in the Sutherland Cup Championship series. Bidgood is from Peterborough and was London’s 7th-round pick in 2023.

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John Tavares joins Team Canada

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares played for both the Knights and the Generals during a four-year OHL career. Now that his NHL season is over Tavares has joined Team Canada for the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship.

He did not play for Canada in a tournament-opening 4-2 victory over Great Britain on May 11, but is expected to enter the lineup when Canada meets Denmark on May 12. Stratford’s Jared McCann is also playing for Canada. Former Knight Rick Nash is serving as general manager.

Tavares was granted exceptional status and played for Oshawa as a 15-year-old beginning in 2005-06. He ended his OHL career in London after arriving at the 2009 trade deadline and led the Knights to the Western Conference Championship series where they were defeated by Windsor in a matchup that saw all five games go to overtime.

Up next

London and the Generals will shift to Oshawa for Games 3 and 4 of the OHL Championship Series.

Game 3 will take place on May 13 at 7 pm

Game 4 will happen on May 15 at 7 pm

Coverage of both games will begin at 6:30 pm on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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