Late goal sets up Knights win

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Brian Kilrea's lone London stop on his OHL regular-season coaching farewell tour netted him a plaque and a Knights golf shirt.

But it didn't get him what he wanted most for his 67's -- an eighth straight victory and a rare regular-season road win in the Forest City, where Ottawa hasn't prevailed since 2002.

London forward Phil McRae's 21st goal was a dramatic equalizer with 58.2 seconds left in the third period and teammate Justin Taylor won it with a power-play top-shelf job in overtime to halt red-hot Ottawa's winning streak at seven with a 3-2 win before 8,918 yesterday at the John Labatt Centre.

"And I'll wear that golf shirt, too," Kilrea said with a grin. "Sometimes, you lose a game and you're pretty disappointed about it but I'm not this time. The guys worked their hardest, they nearly pulled it out but London just came up with the goals when they needed them.

"No complaints here. It was a good weekend (in gaining five of a possible six points)."

The Knights rebounded from a tumultuous 48 hours. They turned in a stinker on Friday at home against Sarnia, then traded Chicago prospect Akim Aliu to Sudbury on Saturday night.

"We needed this win after the loss to Sarnia," said Knights defenceman John Carlson, who set up Taylor's winner and was a force while his team looked for the equalizer. "You get late in the game and you're just clenching your fists; you want that tying goal so bad. Phil got it and then Justin made a magnificent play on the winner.

"When we work together like that, I just feel like we have the most talent in the league right here in this dressing room.

"We got outplayed in the first period, got yelled at, and then decided to get going -- and pulled together for the win."

After dealing Aliu, there's little question the Knights are going to make subsequent additions this week to compete with Windsor.

John Tavares, the Oshawa Generals gunner and Canadian world junior standout, would be a perfect fit for a team trying to chase down one of the CHL's best and earn its way back to the Memorial Cup.

"It'll be good to get through the deadline and then we'll finally have the team we're going to go with into the playoffs," McRae said. "There are some nervous guys in the room but by Friday (at noon), it will be all over and we'll see what we have and move forward from there."

After a scoreless first period, Ottawa jumped to a 2-0 lead on a couple of weird goals. Londoner and San Jose first-rounder Logan Couture, now 0-for-4 in his hometown, crashed the net and the puck slid under a helpless Trevor Cann.

Then, impressive rookie Dalton Smith, whose father Derek played for the 67's and in the NHL with Buffalo and Detroit, scored his second goal and fifth point in four games by banking it in off Cann from behind the net.

"After four years here, I would like to finish up here," said Couture, whose name has surfaced in trade speculation. "We have a good team. I'd like to see what we can do.

"Plus, it's Killer's last year (as head coach), so that helps because we all want to win for him."

Because of a key injury to standout defenceman Tyler Cuma and Martin Paryzek's participation with the Czechs at the world juniors, the 67's played with just five defencemen and it caught up with them in the end.

The Knights, who finally connected after numerous strong chances to tie it, got some much-needed leadership from their veterans.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 3, 67's 2

London goals: Tucker Hunter, Phil McRae and Justin Taylor with the power-play winner in overtime.

Ottawa goals: Logan Couture, Dalton Smith

Next: The Knights are in Erie on Wednesday.


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