Third period goals by Hayes and Pierce knock Firebirds out of London Knights – London Pipa News

Third period goals by Hayes and Pierce knock Firebirds out of London Knights – London

Two goals, 15 seconds apart in the third period, turned a one-goal lead into a one-goal deficit for the London Knights as they lost 4-3 to the Firebirds on Saturday night in Flint, Michigan.

Gavin Hayes and Riley Pearce both hit milestones in the final twenty minutes as Hayes scored his 40th and then Pearce notched his 20th and the Firebirds won to split the season series between the teams.

London and Flint zoomed end-to-end in the first six minutes of the game, scoring nine shots and three goals.

Sean McGurn opened the scoring for the Knights when he dug in the rebound off an Oiler Bonk shot that hit the pads of Firebirds goaltender Will Cranley and backhanded his 27th goal of the season at the 1:49 mark of the first period. This gave London an 80 point lead on the season.

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Two and a half minutes later, Nolan Dann scored for Flint in the tied game as the former Sarnia Sting forward took a feed from Maple Leafs prospect Braden Kreisler on a two-on-one and beat Brett Brochu in goal for the Knights.

Gavin Hayes blasted a pass from the edge of the London crease at 5:47 to give the Firebirds the lead, and Flint took a 2–1 advantage into the dressing room.

London also came back early in the second period as McGurn took a catch off a flint stick in the Knights’ zone and hit a lead pass to Max McCue and went on a partial breakaway to net his 13th goal of the season. Gave. Glove side of Cranley at the 1:21 mark.

Sam Dickinson’s ninth at 5:59 of the second put the Knights ahead 3–2 on a beautiful four-way passing play featuring McCue, George Diako and Brodie Crane.

The score remained that way until Gavin Hayes chased down a puck that was flipped high in the air and then Pearcy scored only 15 seconds later.

The Firebirds held on from there as Cranley made some important late stops.

London defeated Flint, 36–30.

The Knights missed an opportunity to tie with the Windsor Spitfires atop the Western Conference standings. Windsor was blown out 8–2 by the Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Saturday.

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London and the Spitfires would meet twice in their final three games of their season.

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The three X-Knights head to the University Cup finals

Former Knights Jason Wilmes, Cody Morgan and Kemrin Babar will have their chance to win the championship on March 19. All three are part of the UNB Reds and all three scored in their quarterfinal win and 6-3 win over the Concordia Stingers. A semi-final victory over the UQTR Patriots on March 18 saw the Reds face the Alberta Golden Bears for the University Cup.

Morgan scored one of two goals and Wilms recorded an assist in UNB’s 2–1 win over Concordia in their quarterfinal matchup on March 16.

Wilms scored a goal in the semifinal and Babar added an assist to push UNB into the title game.

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Knights prepare for a display of skill

The London Knights 2023 Skills Competition begins at noon on Sunday, 19 March at Budweiser Gardens. The event is free and fans can enter through Gate 4. The doors will open at 11:30. Knights players will compete in competitions like Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot. The event was scheduled to take place in the first season, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

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London would play three games in three days to close out the regular season and they would decide first place in the Western Conference.

On Friday, March 24, the Knights would host the Windsor Spitfires in the first home-and-home, which would continue the following night in Windsor, Ontario.

London returns home to Budweiser Gardens on Sunday, March 26 for a 6 p.m. game against Kitchener Rangers.

All games can be heard on 980 CFPL, and on the Radioplayer Canada app. Coverage begins 30 minutes before the puck drops.

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