They were missing eight regulars. They were playing a team that had won 15 games in a row. And they were down 5-1 in the second period.
Somehow, the London Knights still managed to pick up a win on Saturday afternoon. And, they did it in a shootout; they hadn’t won one of those in over two years.
With the flu going around the Knights locker room, there was no Tyler Parsons, Cliff Pu, Adrian Carbonara, Robert Thomas, Sam Militec, Alex Formenton, Victor Mete, or Billy Moskal.
It showed early on. The Owen Sound Attack opened up a 3-0 lead in the first, and increased the lead to 5-1 in the second. After Owen MacDonald and Mitchell Stephens cut the lead to 5-3, Ethan Szypula made it 6-3 at the end of the middle frame. Things weren’t looking good.
But in typical London Knights fashion, the boys didn’t go away.
Mitchell Stephens had a three point period, including a hat trick goal, to tie the game 6-6 with less than four minutes left in the third. Dante Salituro and J.J. Piccinich also scored in the frame.
After five minutes of scoreless overtime that saw chances for both teams, including nine shots, it was off to the dreaded shootout.
And though shootouts in the past have almost certainly meant a loss for the Knights, they turned things around on Saturday.
Janne Kuokkanen got the winner in the third round, snapping Owen Sound’s astounding 15-game winning streak.
It was a game that had too many storylines to focus on just one. After a heartbreaking loss to Erie on Friday night, in which Dylan Strome scored the winner with 30 seconds left in regulation, the Knights will take the W.
It keeps them two points behind the Otters for first place in the OHL, with a game in hand.
They head to Oshawa on Sunday night to pay a visit to the Eastern Conference leading Generals. And with Erie idle, a win would put the Knights back into first place in league standings.
For now, they’ll just be happy with the two points.