Just four games into the 2019-20 regular season, there was no denying that Friday night’s contest against the Ottawa 67’s would be the London Knights toughest matchup thus far. In a contest dominated by stellar goaltending on both sides, Brett Brochu led London to victory with his first career shutout. The Knights defeated the 67’s 3-0, sending Ottawa home with their second regulation loss.
After Friday’s win, the Knights find themselves on a three-game winning streak. London currently sits atop the Midwest Division with six points. Erie and Kitchener also have six points apiece and can leapfrog over the Knights in the standings by the end of the weekend.
Brett Brochu & Cedrick Andree Put on a Show
The main storyline of Friday night’s game was fantastic goaltending. Rookie netminder, Brett Brochu, continued his fantastic start to the regular season with his first career shutout. The argument can be made that Brochu only faced 18 shots. However, some of Ottawa’s shots were destined to find twine. Though his save-count was low, the amount of quality saves Brochu needed to make was high. The 17-year-old netminder has solidified himself as London’s number one goalie. He is now 3-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
Brett Brochu was not the only goalie that had a game worth recognizing. Ottawa’s goalie, Cedrick Andree, may have been on the losing end, but it was not because of his play in net. The 19-year-old faced 47 shots, allowing only three to pass him. The Knights had plenty of great scoring opportunities. If Andree was not on his A-game, the score would have been a lot more lopsided.
London Controls Pace and Wears Down Ottawa
Coming into Friday’s contest, it was expected that Ottawa would be a step slower than London. The 67’s played a game in Windsor the night before. They were able to come away with a win but it took overtime. London knew they could win if they played at a fast pace and wore down their opponents.
The Knights were able to do just that. After allowing Ottawa to have some momentum early on, London took control and never looked back. The Knights piled on shot after shot, making Andree work for every save. They blew by Ottawa allowing for multiple odd-man rushes and great scoring chances. The 67’s needed to play at a slower pace and London was having none of it.
London’s Penalty Kill Continues to Impress
One thing London needs to work on is playing a bit more disciplined. They get into situations where they commit multiple penalties in a short span of time. Luckily the team’s penalty kill continues to bail them out time after time. The Knights killed off all five of Ottawa’s power-play opportunities, including a 5-on-3.
London is currently the OHL’s third-best team in terms of killing off penalties. They have shut down 87% of the opposition’s power-play chances. The Knights can only hope this continues as it increases the chances of winning each game drastically.
Multiple Milestones Reached
Not only did the Knights take down one of the OHL’s best, but three players also reached career milestones in the process. As mentioned before, Brochu recorded his first career shutout. Washington Capitals prospect, Connor McMichael, recorded a goal and an assist, reaching 100 points in his OHL career. Newly acquired defenseman and San Jose Sharks prospect, Ryan Merkley, scored his first goal with London and reached 200 points. Moments like these help you realize how talented this Knights roster truly is.
The Knights get to celebrate this victory a bit longer as they have the rest of the weekend off. London will host the Owen Sound Attack on Friday Night and will travel to the Dow Event Center Saturday to take on the Saginaw Spirit.