Knights steamroll Bulldogs in 1st of back-to-back pre-season matchups

London puts on offensive clinic with regular season looming

The Hamilton Bulldogs were no match for the potent London Knights power play, dropping a 7-2 decision in exhibition play on Tuesday. Kyle Marshall/TORONTO OBSERVER

Sean McGurn tallied a goal and two assists and Easton Cowan added two goals as the London Knights pummelled the Hamilton Bulldogs 7-2 on Tuesday night in what was Hamilton’s last exhibition home game before the season begins on Oct. 8.

Cowan’s goal in the second period to put the Knights up 3-1 would also serve as the game-winner, with top scorer McGurn involved in two power-play goals. 

Easton Cowan (7) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal of the game in the third period. KYLE MARSHALL/TORONTO OBSERVER

Knights took advantage of the free ice and scored three times on the power play. The Bulldogs only scored once with the man advantage, even coming up empty-handed on a 5-on-3 in the first period after London was called for too many men on the ice.

As high scoring as this contest was, it was also a very chippy game with both teams combining for 15 power plays. Three players received game misconducts and two more 10-minute misconducts at the end of the game for fights that took place after the final whistle. 

Wide open second period

The second period saw a lot more scoring with four goals between the two teams. The Knights outscored the Bulldogs 3-1 and outshot them 10-9. London had their share of penalty trouble in the second, but their penalty kill kept the damage to just one goal. 

Sean McGurn and Jonathan Melee each contributed a goal for their respective clubs. KYLE MARSHALL/TORONTO OBSERVER

Hamilton’s defence looked overwhelmed at times, especially when they found themselves down a man, as the Knights had plenty of opportunities to score. 

Ben Bujold and Stuart Rolofs also contributed to the scoring barrage, helping London barely outshoot the Bulldogs 31-28.

The physical game went to the next level in the middle frame when after Liam Gilmartin scored to make it 5-2 Knights, he instigated a fight after a collision at centre ice with Hamiton’s Avery Hayes. Both players would receive fighting majors and game misconducts to go with them. 

London’s Max McCue and the Bulldog’s Lawson Sherk would also go at it just two minutes into the third period, with both receiving matching game misconducts of their own. 

Bulldogs would also suffer a kneeing penalty in the third period after Ben Bujold took a low hit from Liam Van Loon.

Ben Bujold down on the ice after taking a hit to the knee by Hamilton’s Liam Van Loon. KYLE MARSHALL/TORONTO OBSERVER

Knights’ Mathias Onuska stopped 26 of 28 shots for his second win of the pre-season in as many games — a mark that features 50 of the 55 shots faced.

Things weren’t quite so rosy for Marco Costantini, who got the start in net for the Bulldogs. The Hamilton native allowed five goals on 21 shots. Tristan Malboeuf played the third and gave up two scores.

These two teams will now head to London for a rematch on Friday in the final pre-season game before Hamilton returns home to face Oshawa, and London welcomes the Owen Sound Attack, to kick off the new campaign.

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Posted: Sep 29 2021 3:38 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports