The London Knights have done one of the hardest things in sports, come back when they were down 3-1 in a playoff series. After winning games 5 and 6, the Knights hosted Game 7 at a sold out Budweiser Gardens Tuesday evening. At the end of this game either the defending Memorial Cup Champion London Knights, or this year’s host Windsor Spitfires were going to be eliminated from the OHL Playoffs.
The opening 20 minutes of play saw huge saves from both Knights goalie Tyler Parsons and Michael DiPietro of Windsor to keep game 7 scoreless after the first. Early in the second period the Knights were on a power play, Mitchell Vande Sompel passed the puck down low to Robert Thomas who threw it back to the blue line where Janne Kuokkanen one-timed the puck to the back of the net to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. Nine minutes later Dante Salituro passed the puck to Owen MacDonald at the blue line who made a move around the defenceman and then passed it over to Max Jones, who one-timed it into the net to give the Knights a 2-0 lead, which held up going to the 3rd period of play.
With 20 minutes left to play, once down in the series 3-1, the Knights were 20 minutes away from advancing to the second round against the Erie Otters. However, a giveaway at the blue line 2:15 into the 3rd let Jeremy Bracco keep it in the zone and go top-shelf over Parsons blocker to cut the lead in half. Seven minutes later Windsor found them-selves on the power play, and Aaron Luchuk scored his 4th goal in the series to tie the game 2-2. The series wound down to 9 minutes left, tied and one of the top teams in the West will be eliminated.
Windsor ran into more penalty trouble and found them-selves on the penalty kill. With 7:12 left in the 3rd period Olli Juolevi skated down the side-boards and shot the puck top-shelf over DiPietro’s glove to give the Knights a 3-2 lead.
“We were supposed to play on the other sides, Cliff was supposed to play on the left side and I was supposed to play on the right, but I don’t know we just stayed on those sides. That was probably my Christian Dvorak moment, so maybe some guys who watched our games from last year he made a couple of those shots” said Juolevi.
The Knights were under pressure for the final couple minutes but managed to shut the door and eliminate the Spits. London now advances to round 2 in the OHL Playoffs, where they will start on the road Thursday against the Erie Otters. Puck drop at the Erie Insurance Arena is scheduled for 7.