The London Knights fell one game short of breaking the OHL and CHL record of 25 consecutive wins.
On November 1, the Knights lost 6-3 against the Windsor Spitfires. That loss was far removed from their 24 game winning-streak.
Tuesday, the Knights played host to rivals the Sarnia Sting. The West Division leaders lost their last two games, the one the night prior to their first of their home and away with the Knights. The game started in the Knights’ favor.
In front of a sold-out 9,046 fans, the Knights jumped to an early 3-o lead after the first period. It seemed nearly over for the visiting team. The second period the Sting cut the Knights’ lead to one, putting in two goals with a score of 3-2 in favor of the Knights. After another goal from each side, the period ended with the Knights having a 4-3 lead. Period three brought more theatrics with the Knights scoring to go up by two, only to see the Sting score two goals to force the game into overtime. Only a minute and eleven seconds into overtime, Sarnia found the back of the net in a remarkable comeback, and brought an end to the Knights’ hope of tying and possible beating the record.
While the scoring was distributed evenly for the Knights, Sarnia’s win came in part largely because of one player – Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin, who came into the game with 14 goals and 14 assists in 36 games played, ended with four goals and a plus two rating. Justice Dandas and Alex Basso had the other two goals.
“It was good hockey and great for the fans,” said Sting coach Jacques Beaulieu who was once a former assistant with the Knights. “Sure, I wanted to beat them. We wanted to end the streak because we had two cracks at it. (Monday) we let one slip on us.”
“I wanted to see our team come back with an effort because usually when you lose a game like that you come back and play flat the next game.”
While it definitely sucks to be so close to breaking a record and losing, Knight’s Tyler Ferry keeps things in perspective.
“It’s a regular season game,” Ferry said. “You don’t win a championship by winning the whole season. You have to win it in April and win it in May. Sure it’s tough, guys are upset but it’s only one game. We worked really hard to get this far. It sucks we couldn’t finish it off but it’s only one game. It doesn’t win you a championship.”
Ferry adds that what makes a championship team is how you respond.
“It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up after you fall,” he said.
The London Knights take to the ice tonight for the first time since their loss. The visiting team will be the Saginaw Spirit, a team who sits currently fourth in their division with a 15-18-3-2 record. While on any given night a team can win, expect the Knights to pick up their winning streak again as they now put aside their record setting goal and set their sites on preparing for the playoffs.