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OHL final update: Knights stomp Generals...again.

by Manny Paiva

The London Knights are two wins away from advancing to the 2024 Memorial Cup after an

emphatic 9-1 victory over the Oshawa Generals in Game 2 of the Ontario Hockey League

Championship series at Budweiser Gardens.

Kasper Halttunen scored a hat trick and Denver Barkey had a four-point night, finishing with a

goal and three assists, to lead the Knights offensively. “I’m playing with some really good players. We’re playing well,” said Halttunen, a second-round pick of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

Source: London Knights

Easton Cowan, a Toronto Maple Leafs first-round pick, finished with a goal and three points.

Ruslan Gazizov, Evan Van Gorp and Max McCue, who scored a lacrosse-style goal, also tallied

for London. Ben Danford had the lone Generals goal late in the 2 nd period, but the Knights had already built an 8-0 lead at that point. In fact, Danford was the only Oshawa player to finish the game with a plus-1 in the lopsided game.

Oshawa has now been outscored 17-2 in the first two games of the championship, after losing

8-1 in Game 1. The Generals played again without top forward prospect Beckett Sennecke and top blueliner Connor Punnett. Head coach Derek Laxdal didn’t blame the injuries for losing the first two games but he admitted postgame that it didn’t help.

“If you take away Cowan and Dickinson from London, they are still a good team, but it still has

an impact,” said Laxdal.

The first goal of the game didn’t come until midway through the first period. But Oshawa’s

veterans, Connor Lockhart and Stuart Rolofs, took back-to-back offensive zone penalties that

the Knights capitalized on and never looked back.

London, who led 4-0 after one period and 8-1 after two periods, finished 4-for-8 on the power

play. The Knights are 6-for-10 in the first two games of the league finals. “Too many penalties,” chimed Laxdal.

Game 2 also featured four goalies.

Oshawa starting netminder Jacob Oster did not come out for the third period after allowing eight goals on 33 shots. Noah Bender stopped five of the six shots in faced. When asked about the goalie change postgame, Laxdal replied “Do I have to explain it?”

London starting netminder Michael Simpson left the game after a goalie interference penalty

against Oshawa’s David Bedkowski. Simpson made 16 saves on 17 shots. Owen Willmore

stopped all five shots in relief.

London coach Dale Hunter said postgame that Simpson is fine, and he only removed him as a


Game 3 is in Oshawa on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Game Notes: The sellout crowd at Budweiser Gardens went into “We Want 10” chants

throughout the third period…. No matter who wins this OHL Final, it will mark the 12 th straight

championship that will be won by a team from either the Midwest Division of the East Division.

The streak started with the Owen Sound Attack in 2010-11…. The last time a team outside the

Midwest and East Divisions won the OHL title? The Windsor Spitfires in 2008-09 and again in



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