The London Knights month from hell is officially over.
It wasn’t so bad, was it? Quite the contrary, actually.
The Knights are on a baker’s dozen win streak thanks to a 5-3 victory over the Barrie Colts before 9,046 at Budweiser Gardens on Friday.
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, they went 13-1. Their lone failure came at the start of the month, a 6-3 loss to the Windsor Spitfires.
“I just turned around, fired it on the net,” said Knights forward Bo Horvat, explaining his first of two markers against Barrie, which wasn’t deemed a goal until after a video review. “All the boys had their hands up and I heard the crowd (go crazy).”
With the Eastern Conference’s best squad in their way, the 13th win didn’t come as easy as some others within London’s current victory spree.
They fell behind 2-0 early and weren’t able to complete the comeback until late in the middle frame. It was then when the Knights managed to capitalized twice on a double-minor penalty assessed to Barrie’s Steven Beyers.
After letting in a pair of quick ones in a four-shot first period, London goaltender Kevin Bailie settled down. The Belleville native made numerous second-chance saves over the course of the Colts seven power play opportunities. In total, he turned away 30 to record his 11th win of the season.
“I take responsibility for the start there; those you can put on me. It was a tough first period, but you just have to keep going,” said the overager.
Sporting a 4-2 lead to begin the third, the Knights kept pushing. Towards the halfway point of the period, London’s bottom six forwards worked a relentless cycle game that ate up valuable time. Before they knew it, Barrie was in a serious bind.
Bailie dug deep, too, kicking away pointblank shots in the latter stages of the contest. And, with less than a minute remaining, his limbs flailed about in hopes of hitting the puck.
“I made a couple of saves where I knew what I was doing, but then it went behind me,” Bailie, 20, said. “I did a Dominic Hasek (acrobatic save) and laid down to try to stop it.”
The Knights — the Ontario Hockey League’s top squad with 44 points in 28 games — are 15-0 in games where they lead after 40 minutes.
Leading scorer Seth Griffith quietly picked up four helpers on Friday, boosting his season point total to 48 in 28 games.
Speedy Colts winger Andreas Athanasiou played two seasons in London before being dealt to Barrie in August. He recorded an assist in the defeat.
His usual linemate, Zach Hall, left the game late in the first period, and did not return. It looked as if he suffered a lower body injury.
Game winning goal scorers during streak
Nov. 2 vs. Belleville — Broadhurst
Nov. 4 vs. Guelph — Elie
Nov. 9 vs. Sudbury — Jammes
Nov. 10 vs. Plymouth — Matt Rupert
Nov. 11 vs. Sault Ste. Marie – Domi
Nov. 15 vs. Oshawa — Griffith
Nov. 16 vs. Owen Sound — Liberati
Nov. 18 vs. Kitchener — Raine
Nov. 22 vs. Sarnia — Welychka
Nov. 23 vs. Peterborough — Broadhurst
Nov. 24 vs. Owen Sound – Griffith
Nov. 27 vs. Kitchener — Tierney
Nov. 30 vs. Barrie — Anderson