Knights' Night: Knights' stars take centre stage in Canada-Russia series
Credit: ANDREW STEPHENSON OF SHAKE MEDIA AND THE LONDON KNIGHTS
With a few Knights shining in the CIBC Canada Russia Series, while also winning another OHL game, the team is gaining more strength and still making their way up to the top.
Four Knights took part in the 15th iteration of the CIBC Canada Russia Series last weekend.
Evan Bouchard, Cliff Pu, Robert Thomas and Alex Formenton participated in the festivities.
The series pits the best Russian junior players against the top talent from the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Each league gets two cracks at the Russian squad, who play a total of six games.
The WHL split their series with the Russians, winning 7-0 in Game 1 and falling 4-3 in Game 2.
The OHL, including Bouchard, Pu, Thomas and Formenton, were responsible for Games 3 and 4.
After a hard fought two games on Nov. 9 and Nov. 13, the OHL came away with the same result as their predecessors; a split series.
The Russians got the better of the Canadians in Game 3, winning 5-2 in Owen Sound.
Artyom Manukyan scored two goals for Russia, including the game winner in the second period.
Erie Otters’ star Taylor Raddysh opened the scoring for the OHL on a penalty shot goal just 36 seconds into the game.
Adam Mascherin, who plays for the Kitchener Rangers, scored the other OHL goal.
Pu picked up the primary assist on the power-play tally.
After a disappointing showing in their first matchup, Game 4 was a different story.
The OHL outshot the Russians 33-25 on route to a 4-2 victory in Sudbury.
Owen Sound’s Nick Suzuki scored two goals, including the winner.
Formenton picked up an assist on the OHL’s fourth goal, to go with his three shots on goal.
Bouchard was plus 1 in the match.
It was a great opportunity for these Knights’ veterans to play with some of the best the Ontario Hockey League has to offer.
Even more importantly, they scouted out some Russian talent before the World Juniors in December.
Pu, Bouchard, Thomas and Formenton all have a chance to make the team.
The London Knights played one match in the three-day break between Games 3 and 4, and it seems that those four all saved their best for the home soil.
The Knights scored early and often on Nov. 10, crushing the Flint Firebirds 9-0.
Bouchard, Pu, Thomas and Formenton scored three points each, combining for an astounding 12 points in just one game.
Thomas scored a hat trick, Bouchard picked up three assists, and Formenton and Pu scored a goal and two helpers each.
The Knights improve to 7-9-2 on the season with the win.
They’re still 17th place in the OHL, but they’re improving.
It’s only a matter of time before this team gets to .500, and likely, far beyond.