Easton Cowan scored a goal and added two assists in his return to the London Knights lineup and his Team Canada teammate Oliver Bonk had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 London win over Barrie on Jan. 5 at Budweiser Gardens.
Evan Van Gorp chipped in a goal and an assist for the Knights.
Even though they eventually combined for eight goals, the teams came through the first period scoreless thanks to the work of Michael Simpson in the London net and Ben West in the Barrie goal.
West made two big stops on Easton Cowan and denied Jacob Julien on a short-handed breakaway.
London kept chipping away in the second period and ended up being rewarded with three goals.
Landon Sim forced his way past a Barrie defender and went in alone on a breakaway. Sim was stopped but Sam O’Reilly was there to pop in the rebound for a 1-0 Knights lead.
A trio of rookies made it 2-0 as Evan Van Gorp and Henry Brzustewicz combined to set up Jared Woolley for his third goal of the season. Woolley walked into the slot and ripped a shot inside the post.
London extended their power play streak to 17 games with at least one goal on the man advantage when Jacob Julien fed Oliver Bonk in the slot and he buried his seventh goal of the year at the 16:06 mark to welcome him back from the World Junior Hockey Championship.
The Knights held the Colts to just 10 shots on goal through 40 minutes.
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Julien set up Cowan for another welcome back goal just over four minutes into the final period. Cowan was a teammate of Bonk’s with Team Canada at the World Juniors.
A Sam Dickinson one-timer gave London their second power play goal of the game and a 5-0 lead at 8:01 of the third, and then William Nicholl nabbed a puck in the Barrie end while killing a penalty and found Evan Van Gorp in front of the net for Van Gorp’s second goal in as many games.
The Colts leading scorer Beau Jelsma scored two late goals for Barrie as he picked up one at even strength and one on the power play to complete the scoring.
The Knights outshot Barrie 35-23 as Simpson earned his 20th win of the year.
London forward Ruslan Gazizov left the game in the first period after being hit by a shot while in front of the Barrie net and did not return.
Team USA captures gold in Sweden
Michigan State Spartan forward Isaac Howard scored twice and New York Rangers prospect Gabe Perrault had a goal and two assists as the United States won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship for the second time in four years.
The U.S. defeated host Sweden 6-2 as the Americans scored three times in the third period to take back the momentum from a goal scored in the final five seconds of the second period by Sweden. Jonathan Lekkerimaki of Sweden was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Czechia pulls off massive comeback to win bronze at World Juniors
With a stunning five-goal third period, Czechia came back to beat Finland and Knights forward Kasper Halttunen 8-5 in the bronze medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Finland appeared to have things in hand up 5-3 through 40 minutes, but two goals before the 10-minute mark of the third evened the score and then Prince George Cougars forward Ondrej Bechar put Czechia ahead with under two minutes to play and the Czechs tacked on two more into an empty net to celebrate a second straight medal at the World Juniors after winning silver in 2023.
Halttunen ended the tournament with three goals and three assists in seven games. He leads London in goals with 20 and leads the entire OHL in power play goals with
The Knights head to Mississauga on Jan. 6 for a 4 p.m., game against the Steelheads.
The game marks the second and final meeting between the two clubs.
Mississauga defeated London 5-1 on Dec. 2.
Coverage will start at 3:30 p.m., on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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