London ball

Spitfires pounce on sudden London Knights slip for 5-2 win

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The London Knights begin to flee at the back.

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London followed up a shorthanded win over Saginaw on Wednesday by allowing 11 combined goals in back-to-back losses to Kitchener and Windsor, the latter a 5-2 loss to the Spitfires before 500 on Saturday at the WFCU Center.

“We’re getting behind the eight ball,” Knights assistant coach Rick Steadman said. “We seem to be running after the game too much. We need to take control of it and get to our game – strong forecheck and make a few plays around the net. We always feel like we’re late. We need to get back into our system and push these games.

London’s top shooters were once again pissed off. Captain Luke Evangelista has been deemed unnecessary in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

The normally stalwart power-play allowed two crucial power-play goals within 45 seconds of the second period. This sidelined the Knights for good and underscored the need for more discipline.

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“Their power play is hot,” Steadman said. “Windsor can really move the puck. You see what happens when there are a few errors. Anything over one (power play goal against) is too much.

The Spits contested six power plays against three for London. Down one goal early in the third, the Knights managed to kill off a five-minute major interference awarded to Bryce Montgomery, but couldn’t muster an offensive push to match it.

Montgomery was sent off for an illegal hit and could face suspension.

“It was one of those things where the puck wasn’t there,” Steadman said. “It could go either way. Hopefully not, but we’ll see what happens. It is definitely interference. It’s good that the boys killed him.

American striker Liam Gilmartin, who scored both goals for London, avenged fellow Sharks prospect Max McCue by making Windsor defender Nathan Ribau answer for a second-half check from behind.

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“He jumped in and had a hell of a fight,” Steadman said. “The kid from Ribau fought well too. Liam didn’t like what happened to Max and he got the chance to step in and defend him. It usually pumps the guys on the bench.

But it wasn’t enough.

It’s the Knights’ first losing streak since a three-game skid in mid-December.

Two of those losses have been to Guelph, which visits Budweiser Gardens on Wednesday.

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Spitfire 5, Knights 2

Windsor Goals: Wyatt Johnston (2), Michael Renwick, Matthew Maggio, Daniel D’Amato

London goals: Liam Gilmartin (2)

Next up: The Knights face Guelph Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.

Saturday at the Windsor Family Credit Union Center

Spitfire 5, Knights 2

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First period

1., Windsor, Renwick 5 (Peer, Miedema) 6:00

2. London, Gilmartin 7 (MacKinnon, McGurn) 15:05

Penalties – Windsor, bench (too many men, served by Currie) 9:02, Evangelista, Ldn (hook) 9:26, Brochu, Ldn (interference) 18:18, Evangelista, Ldn, Cuylle, Wsr (gross) 20 : 00.

Second period

3. London, Gilmartin 8 (unassisted) 3:39

4. Windsor, Johnston 25 (Henault, Cuylle) 7:47 (pp)

5. Windsor, Maggio 22 (Johnston, Cuylle) 8:32 (pp)

Penalties – Brochu, Ldn (delay of game) 5:53, McSorley, Ldn (raw) 8:24, Gilmartin, Ldn (raw, fight, 10 minute foul), Gazizov, Ldn, Maggio, Wsr (raw), Ribau , Wsr (check from behind, fight) 4:36 p.m., Renwick, Wsr (gross) 5:16 p.m., McGurn, Ldn, Henault, Wsr (gross) 8:00 p.m.

Third period

6. Windsor, D’Amico 11 (Currie, Abraham) 16:51

7. Windsor, Johnston 26 (unattended) 17:42 (fr)

Penalties – Montgomery, Ldn (major interference, game misconduct) 4:20 a.m., Henault, Wsr (stumble) 5:26 p.m., McSorley, Ldn (cut) 7:30 p.m.

Shoot to the net

London 8 9 6–23

Windsor 11 4 15–30

Goal: Brochu, Ldn (L, 23-10); Medina, Wsr (W, 13-6).

Power plays (goal chances): Ldn 0-3. Wsr 2-6.

Referees – Ryan Jenken, Ryan Elbers. Linesmen – Blake Beer, Jordan Hurtubise.

Att — 500.

Stars – 1. Wyatt Johnston, Spitfires; 2. Liam Gilmartin, Knights; 3. Will Cuylle, Spitfire.