It was another win for the London Knights on Wednesday night, and one that put them back into sole possession of first place in the Ontario Hockey League.
The victim this time around was the Kitchener Rangers.
The Knights scored four third period goals on route to a 6-1 win, including Nicolas Mattinen’s first of the year.
“[It was a] bouncing puck coming at me at the point, I tried to keep it in and it bounced over my stick so I had to regroup to get my players back onside,” Mattinen said afterwards.
“I started skating up and realized I had a bunch of speed on me, so I just beat two guys wide and luckily my shot went in.”
He’s modest, but it was a highlight reel goal. And it turned out to be the insurance goal the Knights needed.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second, Kitchener scored late to make it 2-1 heading into the third. Both teams were playing a trap system, and there weren’t a lot of chances at both ends.
That changed in the third after Mattinen scored. It got the crowd back into the game, and energized the rest of the team.
“That was huge for him,” said rookie Liam Foudy after the game.
“I was on the ice with him, and we were all really happy for him to get that one.”
Foudy scored in the game as well, on a feed from Robert Thomas in the first period.
After Mattinen’s tally, the floodgates opened. The Knights scored another three goals in the last ten minutes of the game, from Evan Bouchard, Max Jones and Dante Salituro.
It was a 6-1 final, but it was a lot closer than it ended up.
Either way, the Knights will take the two points. It puts them a win ahead of Erie for first place in the league.
They’re back in action Friday night, when they welcome the Owen Sound Attack to London. It’s the first time they’ve played since the Knights snapped the Attack’s 15-game win streak in Owen Sound last Saturday.
Owen Sound will be looking for revenge, and the Knights will be looking to remain in top spot in the OHL.
Puck drop is 7:30 at Bud Gardens.