The London Knights’ team bus will come to rest in Erie, Pa., about 24 hours earlier than it usually does.
And the players could not be happier.
After a player/coaches conflab, it was determined that the Knights would leave Tuesday, the day before playing their Ontario Hockey League game in Erie on Wednesday night.
This comes after two losses — one in a shootout — in their only two previous trips to Erie this season.
“It’s a pretty tough barn to play in, especially when usually it’s a long drive,” Knights captain Chris Tierney said at practice Tuesday. “So I think it’s good for us that we’re going down the day before and able to sleep there and not sit on a bus for five or six hours and then go play. “
Tierney said the coaches approached him with the idea of going in the day before.
“The coaches asked me, ‘Is that what the guys want to do?” They basically left it up to us and I think we’ve lost twice going down there on the day of, so we wanted to try it,” Tierney said.
The last trip to Erie was an ugly 7-2 loss Feb. 8, the only defeat the Knights have suffered in their past 14 games. They are now on a seven-game winning streak and sit only one point behind Erie in fourth place in the tough Western Conference.
Knights’ assistant coach Dylan Hunter said more OHL teams have been opting for more rest and arriving early for games.
“Get the bus legs out, especially now when the games mean so much,” Hunter said. “Last 20 games that you don’t have that even in the back of your minds. Want to take that whole factor out. So it’s just about hockey.”
Domi moves into sixth in scoring
Max Domi was taken back with the news he was now sitting No. 6 in the Ontario Hockey League scoring race.
“Am I? Cool, I’ll take that,” said the Phoenix Coyotes’ first-round selection who turns 19 Sunday.
Domi now has 30 goals and 53 assists for 83 points and is only four points out of third place. This is despite having to serve a four-game suspension earlier this season.
Domi said his success is just part of the overall success of a team that has won 13 of its past 14 games.
“Just kind of goes into what we’re doing as a whole team here. Everyone is coming together and finding their role now, whether you’re playing as a shutdown role or and offensive role or a power-play guy, penalty-kill guy,” Domi said.
“And when you find a role, you’re expected to play it. I guess for me, it’s just helping the team win and if that’s scoring goals, we’ll do that.”