by Brandon Sudeyko (@intheoradio)
The London Knights stroll into the Powerade Centre riding a 15 game winning streak. The Brampton Battalion look to earn their 9th win on home ice and 15th win on the year.
The game started off with the Battalion playing from behind. Not on the score sheet, but the Knights came out flying and putting a lot of pucks on net. Matej Machovsky had to be on his game early as the Knights opened with a shot per minute pace in the opening half of the first period. The usual London suspects really wanted the first goal and by the end of the first period would fire 14 shots on the Brampton netmider. The Battalion on the other hand looked for their counter attack and put quality shots on London’s Kevin Bailie who stopped all but one in the first. Brampton would get on the board via the power play when Barclay Goodrow would score his 21st of the season and give the troops a 1-0 lead on 5 shots after 20 minutes.
Early in the second period Brendan Childerley would add to the Brampton lead and make it 2-0. The Knights would continue to press to crack the Brampton Shield and half way through the second London would get on the board after Matt Rupert would score his 14th of the season to make it 2-1. A few minutes later, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Josh Anderson tied the game at 2, scoring his 9th of the season and earning his 23rd point on the year, a career high. The Knights would end the 2nd period tied with the Battalion.
In the third, Seth Griffith would score his 20th of the season to make it three straight London goals and give the Knights the lead. London would continue to win the board battles and score another their 4th unanswered goal as Tyler Ferry would score his 1st of the season to make it 4-2 for the Knights. The Battalion would get one back late as Marcus Mcivor would score a fluke goal , pinballing off a few players before bouncing over Bailie. That would be as close as Brampton gets as they fall to London, who wins their 15th straight by a score of 4-3.
The big 6’5” defenceman is such a fluid skater that he literally can skate himself out of trouble. He has big, powerful strides that are fluent and effortless. He uses his big reach to keep the opposition on the outside and limit the possible scoring chances by forcing them to rethink their own options. Nikita is very good at reading the play, both in the offensive and defensive zone. With the puck, he is patient and looking for the smart play instead of trying to force the offensive play.
Since returning from the U18 Championship back in August, Max has been on a roll. His skating is vastly improved as he gains lower body strength. His wide skating gives him a great centre of balance, which allows him to really protect the puck in open ice and in the corners. His compete level is off the charts as he always wants the puck or to recover the puck. With the puck he has excellent vision and can find an open man or make a play happen as good as anyone in the league. Domi is defensively responsible as he is the first forward back to help the Knights D when the puck is turned over.