It was the first time all season that the London Knights iced a full line-up. And it showed.
The Knights crushed the Saginaw Spirit 5-1 in front of over 9,000 fans at Budweiser Gardens on Friday night.
It was the first game in a Knights uniform for newcomers Mitchell Stephens, Mitch Vande Sompel, and Dante Salituro, who were all picked up at the trade deadline.
Salituro scored in his debut, roofing a pass from Alex Formenton early in the third.
Meanwhile, Vande Sompel assisted on Janne Kuokkanen’s goal at the end of the second period, which turned out to be the winner.
Kuokkanen had 2 goals in the win, and Olli Juolevi and Adrian Carbonara picked up 2 helpers each.
Returning for the Knights were Max Jones and goaltender Tyler Parsons; the latter was back between the pipes in the Forest City with a gold medal around his neck.
Winning gold over Canada may have made American born Parsons an enemy to some fans north of the border, but he was welcomed back to London with open arms.
“It felt good to hear the fans cheer for me tonight,” Parsons said after the game.
“They’re great fans here and they’ve always treated us well, and I appreciate that.”
The full line-up only lasted for 5 minutes, as Victor Mete left the game early in the first after being hit in the head with a shot. Mitch Vande Sompel was forced to leave the game later on as well.
Assistant coach Dylan Hunter lists both defensemen as day-to-day.
The Knights are back in action tonight, as they head to Saginaw for the second game of a back to back with the Spirit. On Sunday, they’re in Sault Ste. Marie for a date with the first place Greyhounds to round out a 3-game weekend.
London is back home Wednesday night, when they play host to the Sarnia Sting at Bud Gardens.