With the coming of the Christmas also means that the World Junior Championships are right around the corner. After the ugly loss to the Mississauga Steelheads on Friday night the Knights will be without Tyler Parsons, Victor Mete, Olli Juolevi and Janne Kuokkanen as they leave for their respective camps. Juolevi, Kuokkanen and Parsons should make their WJC teams and Mete does have an outside chance of making Team Canada.
The Knights have 4 more games before the Christmas break, including a 3 game in 3 days weekend. It was most likely the Knights worst game of the season on Friday night against the resurgent Steelheads as they fell 7-3. But in defence of the London effort, they as a team are fighting the flu bug and it showed. First time all season it was evident they were out of gas as they rarely moved their feet, instead watching the play or trailing it constantly. Tyler Parsons lasted over a period before being mercifully pulled in favor of Tyler Johnson who was seeing his first action after a hamstring injury. Of the 4 goals that Parsons allowed you could not fault him on any as he was left on his own to defend the London goal.
Johnson will have to prove himself if Parsons makes team USA. He in my opinion has been less than impressive in his tenure with the Knights. London faces this situation every December as they have a flurry of players leave for the WJC and yet almost every season they manage to have a respectable record without their top players. This year I would expect no less. London is still without Max Jones sporting a cast on his injured hand and their is no timetable for his return. With what has become a regular statement by me, rookie Alex Formenton continues to impress with his scoring touch and speed. His ability to process the play is far advanced for his age and that coupled with good hands make him a star in the making. He has not looked out of place on the top line with Cliff Pu and Janne Kuokkanen and his good play has the coaching staff rewarding him with powerplay time as well as utilizing his speed on the penalty kill.
After the 3 games this weekend London will play back to back games on December 15 and 16 on the road against the Peterborough Petes and then home against the Guelph Storm. The Knights then get a well deserved break until the 28th when the Oshawa Generals come to town.