Having the defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires come into Budweiser Gardens and walk out with a 5-2 victory wasn’t how the London Knights hoped to begin their season.
Windsor was able to capitalize on power-play opportunities to give their offence a boost, while London was not so fortunate. The Spitfires scored on 2 of their 4 man advantages with goals from Igor Larionov and Cole Purboo.
The Knights went 0-6 on the power-play.
Forward Cole Tymkin spoke of the offensive power outage: “The day before a game we always work on it. We were clicking, we just couldn’t find the back of the net. We just need to get more comfortable with things.”
Windsor goaltender Michael DiPietro turned in a stellar road performance making 30 saves; many of them big ones.
A Knights’ fan in the Windsor end had a sign that read “Backdoor chumps.” DiPietro was candid in his response: “I really don’t understand the sign when they hosted too, they didn’t get the job done like we did.”
The Vancouver Canucks draft pick was referring to his Spitfires winning the Memorial Cup on home ice last season; the London Knights were unable to secure the same fate at Budweiser Gardens in the 2014 tournament.
The Knights are missing key contributors from last year’s team such as Cliff Pu, Max Jones, Sam Miletic and Rob Thomas who are off at NHL training camps. Until these familiar faces return, a slow start would come as a surprise to nobody as the Knights will be icing up to 7 rookies every game.
Josh Nelson and Adrian Carbonara scored London’s two goals on the evening. The Knights will now hit the road facing Saginaw tomorrow night and Sault St. Marie on Sunday.