But Wolves lose shootout in London
The Sudbury Wolves left London with one point instead of two Friday night, but it wasn’t for lack of effort, nor a lack of stellar goaltending by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
Though they spotted the Knights a lead in the first period and were outshot 40-26 overall, the Wolves pulled even in the third on a goal by Blake Murray, then relied on Luukkonen to stop 15 shots in the final frame and a penalty shot in overtime, before finally falling 2-1 in a shootout.
Owen Robinson and Kirill Nizhnikov recorded assists for Sudbury, which slipped to 10-6-1-1, but collected a point for the fourth straight game.
They’ll look to return to the win column in a visit to the Sarnia Sting, Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Sudbury had a series of good scoring chances early Friday night, including a tipped point shot by Cole Candella and back-to-back opportunities for David Levin, but could get nothing past Knights netminder Joseph Raaymakers.
London answered with a flurry of their own chances, then opened the scoring at 17:48 of the first on a shot by Connor McMichael, with only two seconds left in what had been a fairly lacklustre power play.
Raaymakers did well to keep the home side ahead, denying Sudbury’s Darian Pilon on a shorthanded breakaway.
London outshot Sudbury 11-6 in the frame.
The Knights thought they had gone up 2-0 on another power-play goal, this time on a wicked-looking shot by Alex Formenton in the second period, but after a lengthy review, the goal was called off on an offside.
Sudbury pressed for an equalizer in the minutes that followed, forcing Raaymakers to make a few more good saves, including one on a second breakaway by Pilon.
Sudbury hit a post late in the frame and Levin was stopped again after making a nice move into the slot.
Luukkonen did his part at the other end, tracking pucks well and killing plays when the Knights earned chances off a series of clean entries in the frame.
Shots were an even 11-11 in the second stanza, giving the hosts a 22-17 edge after 40 minutes.
After more fine work by both goalkeepers, Murray finally cracked Raaymakers’ goose egg with his fifth of the season, and first in six games, as he got his stick on a nifty feed by Robinson at 11:26 of the third.
The play started with a good cross-ice pass by Nizhnikov, who extended his point streak to four games.
London outshot Sudbury 15-7 in the third.
An eventful overtime was highlighted by Luukkonen’s save on a Liam Foudy penalty shot, then another save on Foudy in the dying seconds of three-on-three play.
London rookie Antonio Stranges had the only shootout marker, beating Luukkonen on a wellplaced backhand.
Sudbury’s Levin, Nizhnikov and Shane Bulitka were all turned aside by Raaymakers, while Formenton and Evan Bouchard were stopped by Luukkonen.
London Knight Liam Foudy and Sudbury Wolves twins Drake Pilon (28) and Darian Pilon try to get at the loose puck during their game in London, Ont. on Friday November 9, 2018.