London embarked on a mini northern swing this week, with stops in Sudbury and North Bay. The Knights will have to endure longer northern trips later in the year so this was a good test for this new version of the Knights and allowed some team bonding as well. The Knights stopped in North Bay on Thursday to face the Battalion and were still without their top 2 goalies for this road trip and again handing the reigns to Emanuel Vella who would post his first shutout of the season in a lopsided 7-0 win. The Knights top line of Max Jones, Cliff Pu and Janne Kuokkanen accounted for 7 points and Kuokkanen garnering first star honours. The Knights were fortunate as North Bay misfired on all 5 of their powerplay opportunities on the evening. Defenceman Evan Bouchard had possibly his best game of the season as he was a +4 in the game and looked the part of a solid top 4 defenceman in the OHL. Nicolas Mattinen on the other hand struggled on this night, taking 8 minutes in penalties. But it was a solid team effort for the Knights and a well deserved 2 points.
London headed to the Nickel city next to take on the Wolves and former teammates Ryan Valentini and Chandler Yakimowicz. The Wolves are a young team on the rise and proved to be a tough test for these Knights. Thanks in part to a quick 2-0 lead inside the first 4 minutes of the game. Those goals were booked ended by a game winner by the surprisingly quiet Robert Thomas and an empty net goal by Cliff Pu to put the game away. This was a similar game as the one in North Bay as the Knights had scoring from many different players and again it was a team effort and the 6-4 victory was one of the Knights tougher games of the year.
The Knights return home today to face another young and improving team the Hamilton Bulldogs. Puck drop is at 2pm and there are still seats available. Contact the London Knights box office or head down early and pick up your tickets.