The London Knights veterans showcased their skills in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Owen Sound Attack, dominating with a 7-0 victory. Co-captains Sean McGurn and George Diaco, along with 19-year-olds Max McCue and Ryan Humphrey, combined for six goals and nine points, proving that the play of veterans in Major Junior Hockey is a major determinant of success.
The Knights’ overage goaltender, Brett Brochow, was also instrumental in the win, recording his first OHL playoff shutout with 25 saves. McGurn recorded his first OHL hat trick, while McCue scored twice and Ryan Humphrey finished the scoring late in the third period. Diaco scored every goal he could in two periods, including engineering a penalty shot that was converted by McCue, who used a Diaco move.
Diaco’s pass set up McCue for his second goal of the game, a shot over the shoulder of Owen Sound’s starting goaltender Corbin Votrey. Diaco was nearly unstoppable on penalty shots during the regular season, scoring on six of his seven attempts. His third assist of the game came on McGurn’s third-period goal, which completed a natural hat trick for the co-captain.
Denver Barkey had a pair of assists for the Knights, and forward Easton Cowan impressed all night, skating the puck from zone to zone on a third-period penalty kill. The Knights outrebounded Owen Sound 42-25, demonstrating their dominance on the ice.
The Knights will look to continue their strong performance in Game 2 on Sunday, April 2 at Budweiser Gardens at 2 p.m.
In other news, rookie goaltender Zach Bowen was awarded the FW “Dunty” Moore Trophy for his outstanding performance in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League. The 17-year-old from Kanata, Ont. put together a 15-game hitting streak, posted an .899 save percentage, and had the fewest goals against among first-year goalies.
Additionally, the U16 London Junior Knights have advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2023 OHL Cup after a hard-fought victory over the Mississauga Senators and a 5-4 win over the Whitby Wildcats, with Aidan Young scoring in overtime. They will face off against the Toronto Junior Canadiens on Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m.
While Kingston, Ont.’s Memorial Cup bid failed to score, the London Knights and their veterans continue to demonstrate their talent and skill on the ice, proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the OHL playoffs.