No doubt about it – the London Knights are in the driver’s seat.
The Knights took a commanding 3-nothing series lead with a big overtime win over the Niagara IceDogs.
Owen MacDonald scored the winner in O-T as the Knights escaped a three goal first period deficit to top the Dogs by a score of 6-to-5.
MacDonald was overwhelmed by the excitement of tallying the game winner.
“It was amazing,” he said. “I honestly didn’t even know it was in until everyone started crowding me. It was a pretty surreal feeling, I was just lucky to get it – and Picc (J.J. Piccincich) made a heck of a pass getting it over to me.”
After one point in the first the Knights were down 4-to-1 and then 5-2 in the second before they began chipping away at the IceDog’s lead.
MacDonald couldn’t quite explain how his team was able to battle back.
“Our group is pretty resilient and we stay calm whenever we can. Obviously we were down three there and we didn’t worry too much so I’m pretty proud of our group and we’ve been doing it all year so it’s pretty special.”
Graves who played dish-master for the evening lead the offense with four assists and was ecstatic about the win – however he realizes the series is far from over.
“I threw the water bottle I was drinking and just started sprinting towards the pile,” Graves said on celebrating the win.
“We’re excited, we’ve got one more game so definitely everybody needs to calm down. We’ve got a day off to settle down and come back at them real hard in game 4. They’re gonna come out flying so we just have to stay composed and ready to go.”
Despite the loss – Niagara Head Coach Marty Williamson won’t write his team off quite yet.
“It obviously stinks – it’s a painful loss but it’s a new day,” Williamson said.
“We’re not done and we get to play another hockey game and that’s the best thing and if we play our best effort then it’ll give us a chance to play another and that’s all we’re looking at – getting ready for the first period on Wednesday.”
It was a rough start for London netminder Tyler Parson – who surrendered 4 goals on the first 17 shots – but battled back admirably to backstop London to their 12th straight win.
The game also marked the return of power forward Max Jones – who was back after serving a 12 game suspension.
With a sweep, London (15-and-2) can match the playoff record set by their 2005 Memorial Cup winning predecessors of 16 wins and two losses – so let the comparisons begin.
The Knights can wrap it up with a win on Wednesday in St. Catherines and solidify themselves as J. Ross Robertson Cup champs for the third time in five years.
Puck drop for game four is at 7PM.