The Oshawa Generals learned a valuable less in their second loss of the season, at the hands of the London Knights on Sunday night.
A final score of 5-2 does not do justice to how close the game was, one that came down to a very unfortunate play.
A series of events unfolded midway through the third period that would cost the Generals (3-2) the game. Anthony Cirelli ripped a shot that beat goalie Tyler Parsons, but hit two posts on its way back onto the ice.
The red light went on and the Generals began celebrating. But there was no whistle, and play continued.
Knights’ Aaron Barisha, realizing what was happening, quickly grabbed the puck and raced into the offensive zone, where goalie Jeremy Brodeur skated out of his net thinking his team had just tied the game.
Instead of a 3-3 game, the score was now 4-2 for the London Knights (2-0-1-1).
“It’s certainly a momentum swinger,” said Oshawa coach Bob Jones about this strange incident. “All five guys on the ice all thought the puck went in, the goal light went on.
“It was just a unique scenario where play continued. Lesson learned by all of us. I’ve been in the game a long time. I’ve never seen that play develop like that.
“It was a mistake and hopefully it will never happen again.”
Captain Michael Dal Colle was on the ice during the incident, immediately skating to Cirelli to celebrate after seeing the lamp light up.
“It was a mistake by Brodeur,” he said laughing. “He will play the whistle from now on but it’s alright, things like happen.”
Oshawa got off to a slow start, mainly due to London’s ability to play a very physical game in the first two periods.
A power play midway through the first for the Knights was quickly wasted when Mitchell Marner received a tripping penalty in the neutral zone.
This would give the league’s best power play their first chance of the game and they did not waste any time.
With the penalty on Jalen Smereck coming to an end, Stephen Desrocher was streaking down the right side of the ice. He quickly snapped a shot past goalie Parsons for his second of the season.
Del Cole and Kenny Huether got the assists on the play.
“The first thing that I try to do is play defence and that’s where I start,” said Desrocher, about his role on the team. “Offence comes with that. You get pucks out of your zone and you get into their zone, you get into a good position and that’s when you get a chance to score.”
The 19 year-old has notched a point in all five games so far this season.
Entering the second period the Generals led the Knights 1-0. But London’s physical play continued, a sign of things to come.
Six minutes into the second period Kole Sherwood punished the Generals with two huge hits that kept the puck in the offensive zone. The puck eventually made it to Aiden Jamieson who rifled a shot over Jeremy Brodeur’s shoulder.
This was Jamieson’s first of the season, Matthew Tkachuk and Sherwood getting the assists on the play.
For Brodeur, the goal ended a shutout streak that lasted for just over 150 minutes.
“Give credit to London,” said coach Jones after the loss. “They are a good hockey club, they play the right way, they make you put pucks in hard areas and make you battle.
“For the most part I was happy with the effort, we were a bounce away from tying the game.”
After a hard fought penalty kill late in the second that included a 5-on-3, the Generals conceded a goal with less than two minutes to play. Owen MacDonald scored his third of the season, Sherwood and Sam Miletic getting the assists.
London’s physical style of play was simply too much for the Generals in the first two periods, momentum completely shifting the Knights way.
Early in the third the Knights were able to add to their lead, Christian Dvorak scoring his second of the season, Max Jones and Barisha getting assists on the play.
But the Generals would cut the deficit to one, Daniel Robertson sniping his first of the season over the glove of Parsons.
That was as close as the Generals would get.
“It was a good hockey game,” said the Generals head coach. “It was a bit of a chess match. I liked out guys effort, I would like to see our guys generate a few more chances 5-on-5. Overall I was happy with our effort.”
Marner would add an empty net goal, his second point of the night.