Easton Cowan’s 5-point play lifts London Knights to Game 1 victory over Oshawa – London

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Easton Cowan scored once and added four assists as the London Knights defeated the Oshawa Generals 8-1 to open the 2024 OHL Championship Series on May 9 at Budweiser Gardens.

London forward Jacob Julien had a goal and an assist, Sam Dickinson had three assists and Ruslan Gazizov and Oliver Bonk each scored twice for the Knights.

Denver Barkey had a goal and an assist and was named the third star of the game.

London led the Generals 2-0 at the end of the first period thanks to a power-play goal from Oliver Bonk and an even-strength goal from Jared Woolley.

Bonk converted from the “bumper” position in the slot in the Generals zone of Jacob Julien and Easton Cowan.

Woolley played his minor hockey in Oshawa and scored his first goal of the playoffs on a wrist shot from the blue line. Cowan and Denver Barkey assisted on Woolley’s goal.

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London extended its lead early in the second period when Bonk joined a rush and fired a shot past Jacob Oster for his second of the game just 28 seconds into the opening faceoff. Cowan picked up his third point of the night on the play.

Cowan then scored at 10:23 of the second on a beautiful layup by Jacob Julien and Sam Dickinson to make it 4-0 Knights.

An interference penalty on a late goal by Oshawa defender Zachary Sandhu on Kasper Halttunen set up a London power play that led to a Barkey goal. Barkey took the proverbial monkey off his back and kicked it away during his celebration as Barkey scored his first goal since the Knights series against the Kitchener Rangers. The Flyers prospect has performed in every way possible during the postseason and now sits eighth in the OHL playoff rankings.

That goal made it 5-0 with 1:50 left on the clock.

Oshawa’s Connor Lockhart cleared a puck in the final minute of the period and countered Rasmus Kumpalainen who returned a pass to Lockhart for his seventh goal of the postseason and the Knights led 5-1 heading into the third.

A high somersault from Sam Dickinson early in the third period found Julien and he raced in to score his eighth goal of the play-offs after eleven seconds.

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Ruslan Gazizov scored on a pair of near-copy two-on-ones to make it 8-1 in London.

The first was set up by Max McCue and the second by Sam O’Reilly.

The Knights defeated the Generals 41-25 as Michael Simpson stopped 24 shots on goal for London.

Jacob Oster made 25 saves on 32 shots for Oshawa. Noah Bender played the final 18:40 for the Generals, making eight stops on nine shots.

The Knights were two-on-two on the power play and three-on-three on the penalty kill.

The game had the largest margin of victory in an OHL Championship Series since the Guelph Storm defeated North Bay 10-1 in 2014.

Get warm at the right time

There was something in the air in early December, both in Oshawa and London.

The generals doubled the Windsor Spitfires on December 9 and caught fire from there. Oshawa went from there with a 31-7-4-1 record through the end of the regular season, losing only five games in the playoffs.

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The Knights dropped a 5-4 decision in Sault Ste. Marie on December 10 and followed that up with a 21-0-2 run. And London didn’t stop there. The Knights have gone 33-3-3 over their last 39 games and have followed that up with a 14-2 run so far in the postseason.

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Next one

The Knights and Generals will play Game 2 of the OHL Championship series on Saturday, May 11 at Budweiser Gardens before the series shifts to Oshawa for Games 3 and 4 on May 13 and 14.

Coverage of all games can be heard beginning at 6:30 PM on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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