The adage played out Friday night in London.
The Knights best penalty killer was their goaltender, and Brett Brochu backstopped London to a 2-1 victory over the Owen Sound Attack by standing tall amid an onslaught of power-play chances.
Throughout the game, Owen Sound had an extended two-man advantage, a four-minute power play, and a five-minute power play en route to an 0-7 PP performance. Deni Goure tickled twine while up a man in the third period, but the goal was called back after a coach’s challenge review found Stepan Machacek prevented Brett Brochu from getting back to the net cleanly after the goalie played the puck behind the net.
Adding insult that that injury for Owen Sound fans, 21 seconds after the officials waved off Goure’s goal, Luke Evangelista strolled in shorthanded and scored a beauty for the game’s winner.
With the win, London improves to a perfect 6-0-0-0 while Owen Sound falls to 1-4-0-1 on the year.
Owen Sound blew out of the gate early Friday night coming off a disappointing third-period in Windsor less than 24-hours earlier. The Attack pressured London for the majority of the first 20 minutes, earning three power plays and plenty of prime scoring chances.
Brochu was up to the task. The Knights standout goaltender turned away all 12 shots he faced in the first period as the team’s headed to the locker rooms scoreless.
In the second period, it was Owen Sound in penalty trouble.
With Stepan Machacek in the box for cross-checking, the Knights played whack-a-mole during a mad scramble in front of Mack Guzda. Overage forward Cody Morgan finally smacked the puck across the goal line for his first tally of the season.
Later in the period Colby Barlow evened the score with his fourth goal of the year. For the second time this season, Andrew Perrott played forward after departing from the penalty box. The overage defender steamed in hard on the forecheck and turned the puck over. Gavin Bryant found Barlow all alone and the 16-year-old rookie made no mistake. Perrott now has a goal and an assist on the season as an undercover post-penalty winger.
The teams would head to the final frame tied 1-1, despite several power play opportunities for both squads. Owen Sound was 0-6 on the power play after 40 minutes including an extended five-on-three advantage.
Brochu turned aside all 14 Attack chances in the third period. Goure hit a post in the dying minutes, and the Knights blocked several shots that didn’t get a chance to make it to Brochu.
Owen Sound were given a five-minute power play in the third period after Knights rookie Brody Crane shoved Mark Woolley from behind while Woolley skated to collect the puck. The Attack’s captain slammed hard into the end boards and wouldn’t return to the game. Crane was given a five-minute major and ejected.
With the win, London improves to 3-0 in the ten-game regular-season series between the two Midwest teams.
Brochu 36 saves on 37 Attack shots. Guzda stopped 28 of 30.
The Owen Sound Attack will complete their three-in-three series tomorrow night at home against the same Windsor Spitfires team who beat them 7-4 Thursday. The Spitfires, in the middle of their own three-in-three stretch lost in a shootout, 3-2, in Kitchener Friday night. Puck drop inside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Owen Sound Attack rookie Taos Jordan needed to gain weight.
The Attack’s 12th-round pick in 2020 knew his 150-pound frame wouldn’t cut it if he had a hope in ham of making the Ontario Hockey League. Unfortunately for Jordan, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the hockey world and the local fitness centres.
So, the Brooklin, Ont., local improvised.
“I made my own little gym,” he said after practice Tuesday.
Jordan used a set of spare tires, some rope, a hockey stick, and paint cans filled with pucks. He had a set of 40-pound dumbells, which represented the only traditional weight-lifting device in Jordan’s Gym. Either way, it worked. Jordan showed up to Owen Sound’s training camp noticeably bigger according to team general manager Dale DeGray.
He packed on 25 pounds during the pandemic and said he’s playing now at 175-pounds.
Of course, lifting tires and curling paint cans was only half the battle. For most of us, 25 extra pounds would be cause for concern, not pride, but Jordan also had to compete with his elite metabolism. For that, his uncle gave him some advice.
“He said, Taos, gravy and poutine will make you put on weight . . . so I said I would give it a shot. I used to put gravy on everything,” Jordan said. “I did it for a little bit but then I thought, OK, this is getting to the point where it’s unhealthy.”
He switched to chicken and “other good stuff” to get the job done. Again, it worked. Perhaps not right away. After the Attack’s training camp Jordan was sent home. He didn’t sulk. This time he used his gym membership and worked out twice a day before and after school. He knew now he could play at the major junior level so he kept working.
“My dad always told me to be the best player on the ice and I’ve tried to have that mentality since I was younger,” he said.
The Attack called him back and signed him just days after cutting him at camp, and the rookie has since dressed in each of the Attack’s regular-season contests to open the 2021-22 season.
He was at home when his dad told him he was headed back to Owen Sound.
“I just started bursting into tears of joy. It was a pretty special moment. I’ll cherish it,” Jordan said. “I love it here.”