Ugly good enough for Knights

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

A hockey scoresheet counts goals, with no consideration given to style.

It doesn't matter whether a goal is the work of a master or garbage collector.

When you've have trouble scoring, as the London Knights have had, you take anything you get.

The Knights turned hard work into four third-period goals yesterday to come back from a 3-2 deficit and defeat the Kingston Frontenacs 6-3 yesterday afternoon at the John Labatt Centre.

"It was a better effort," Knights assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu said. "If you look at our goals, we had two power-play goals and two jams. They had to work for them. They weren't pretty plays. But we had 30 scoring chances. We're getting chances. We're just not shooting well, but it will come."

The Knights ended a 0-for-31 streak on the power play when Leigh Salters slid a puck into the net midway through the third period to tie the game 3-3.

On another power play, Phil McRae used his size and strength to stuff home his second goal of the game, giving the Knights a two-goal lead.

"Sometimes you need ugly goals to get confidence and get going again," Beaulieu said. "But I like the way we played. I thought we were very patient. Even when it was 3-1, we stuck to our plan and played a structured game. When you do that you always have the chance to get back into the game. When you start cheating and it's 3-1 it becomes 4-1 quicky."

Before the roof caved in, the Frontenacs rode on the goaltending of Tyler Beskorowany to a 3-1 lead. Beskorowany faced 50 shots, while his counterpart in the Knights' net, Michael Houser, faced 21 on the game.

But the JLC hasn't been friendly territory to the Frontenacs. They have never won here, going 0-8 while being outscored 53-10.

It looked as if they had a chance to break that streak until they ran into some penalty problems.

They weren't enamoured with the work of referee Mike Bolibruk. By the end of the night, Bolibruk was handing out misconducts like candy on Halloween night. They wound up with four misconducts, three of them for abuse of officials.

Knights' Zac Rinaldo earned a game misconduct with a five-minute major for interference.

Frontenacs coach Doug Gilmour wasn't available for comment after the game. He left the building quickly.

The Knights though, were a much-relieved bunch.

Salters isn't known for his scoring but has been contributing on a regular basis. He's a big body guy who is tough to move from the front of the net.

"We had to do something quick and that was the best way to do it, start going to the front and start banging away," Salters said. "It worked today."

Salters added three assists as well. His goal-scoring prowess, he has four goals already this year, doesn't mean he's changed his style of play.

"I don't think I've changed my style of play too much. I'm still a physical player who drops his mitts every now and again," he said. "It's just nice to be able to contribute in other ways sometimes."

The Knights were be happy to see McRae contribute a couple of goals. He is a player they rely on to score for them.

McRae was ready to play yesterday. Early in the game he hammered a Kingston defenceman and separated him from the puck, setting up a chance. He was in the middle of a lot of action.

"We were struggling a little bit but it seemed we weren't getting the bounces," McRae said. "Today we got some bounces and finally got some results."

McRae is another big body that will get lots of power-play time

"I'm one of those guys that has to get down low and go to the net," he said. "We went to the net and scored some goals. It was tense in the room. Everyone's a lot happier now."

A breakout game is often needed to ease some of the pressure of a goal-scoring drought.

"We really needed a game like that," Salters said.

morris.dallacosta@sunmedia.ca

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Game glance

Knights 6, Frontenacs 3

London goals: Phil McRae 2, Pieter Schinkelshoek, Leigh Salters, Jared Knight, Justin Taylor

Kingston goals: Nathan Moon 2, Mike Fine

Next: The Knights play the Spitfires in Windsor on Thursday at 7 p.m.


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