Military Appreciation Night

Colts Slap Knights With 8

Stefan Nichol

     It was a disappointing outing for the Knights. Coming into Military Appreciation Night at Budweiser Gardens London had won 4 of their past 6 games, and had defeated Barrie by a score of 5-3 earlier in the month. Barrie, on the other hand, had lost their past 2, and were clinging onto third in the Eastern Conference, narrowly ahead of the Kingston Frontenacs.

     The game got off to a quick start with Suzuki (#61) scoring at 5:05, and Bouchard (#2) levelling it for the Knights a mere 35 seconds later. From there the period was fairly evenly matched, with the lone piece of excitement being a Luchuk (#91) goal at 15:01.

     During the second period Barrie stepped up their play. Magwood (#18) scored twice for the Colts in a little under 4 minutes causing the Knights to replace Joseph Raaymakers (#32) with backup Joey Kooy (#31) with 10 minutes still to play in the period. Bouchard’s second goal of the game, this time shorthanded, came as he jumped up into the rush and made the Colts pay for a neutral zone turnover. Shortly after, the Colt’s Svechnikov (#14), an NHL hopeful, showed why as he scored a beautiful goal off a Luchuk pass at the 14:20 mark. This celebration was short lived as Jacob Golden scored his first as a Knight under a minute later during 4-on4 play, closing the gap to 5-3. While the second saw an increase in goals it also saw an increase in physical play. There were several big hits, and a fight between Knight’s forward Cole Tymkin (#15) and Colts captain Justin Murray (#10).

     The Knights started out well in the third with Alex Formington (#80) deking past an outstretched Kai Edmonds (#27), bringing the Knights back within 1. However, any hope of a Knights comeback was shattered as Hawerchuk (#10) picked the top left corner 42 seconds afterwards. This was followed by a Colt’s powerplay goal at 7:18, Sokolov (#17) tapping home an easy one, before Suzuki capped the evening off with his second of the game with just under 5 minutes remaining.

     Last night was London native Ryan Suzuki’s first game against the Knight’s. The Barrie rookie has been playing well, and that trend continued at Budweiser Gardens. He was +3 on the night, scoring the first and final goals of the game, on only two shots, bringing him up to 5th in rookie scoring in the process. While the evening belonged to the Colts, one highlight for the Knights was the play of defenceman Shane Collins. Collins (#7) played the majority of his time against Barrie’s Svechnikov, who is expected to go in the top 3 of this year’s upcoming NHL Draft, holding him to a goal an assist, and coming away +1 on the night. The games Three Stars were Andrei Svechnikov, London’s Alex Formington, and Ryan Suzuki.

        Prior to the singing of the national anthem a moment of silence was observed for Jim Lever. Jim was an OHL referee for 25 years (1964-89) during which time he officiated at 4 Memorial Cups, as well as in the 1984 Winter Olympics. Following his retirement from the ice he spent another 26 years as an Officiating Supervisor, and was granted the Bill Long Award for Distinguished Service in 2002.

     The Knights (26-19-2-2) play Saturday afternoon in Sarnia vs a Sting team (35-12-4) which has proved difficult this season. Barrie (28-18-2-1) returns home to play Windsor (23-21-2-2).