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Peterborough Petes hang on for Game 4 win in OHL Championship

The Peterborough Petes held off a furious comeback attempt by the London Knights to win 5-3 and take a three games to one lead in the Ontario Hockey League Championship series.

London scored twice in the final 6:01 of the third period to get to within a goal but could not find the equalizer at the Peterborough Memorial Centre and now must win three straight. The Knights outshot the Petes 26-8 over the final 20 minutes of the game.

Peterborough will head to Budweiser Gardens on Friday, May 19 with a chance to capture their first OHL title since 2006.

London again scored early as Easton Cowan jumped on a puck as Petes goalie Michael Simpson hesitated with it for just a second in behind his net. Cowan walked in front and put the puck through Simpson as he tried to get reset in the Petes crease. The goal came 1:19 into the first period.

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Knights co-captain Sean McGurn had scored 31 seconds into Game 3.

Cowan and Barkey had missed Game 3 of the series with a non-COVID illness.

Peterborough responded early in the second period with a goal that mirrored the start of the game. J.R. Avon took a pass from former Erie Otter Connor Lockhart and was able to deke across the London crease to knot things up 1-1 at the 1:19 mark.

Just under nine minutes later Zach Bowen made a big stop in front of the Knight net but the Petes grabbed the rebound and Brennan Othmann fed a pass to his left to Owen Beck and the Montreal Canadiens prospect buried his eighth of the post-season to put Peterborough in front for the first time in the game.

Avon spun and scored his second of the night and ninth of the playoffs just 1:11 later and through 40 minutes the Petes led 3-1.

London killed off a Peterborough power play in the third period but just 17 seconds later Donovan McCoy put a puck past Bowen to make it 4-1 for the Petes.

The Knights went to the man advantage with 7:36 to go in regulation and London head coach Dale Hunter elected to pull goaltender Owen Willmore who had come in to replace Bowen after the fourth Petes goal.

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Logan Mailloux set up Sam Dickinson for a one-timer from the right side of the Petes zone at 13:59 of the third period to make it 4-2 and the Knights began to feel some momentum. Ryan Winterton also picked up an assist on the play.

With 3:09 remaining, Winterton got a puck to Mailloux and this time he fed Denver Barkey at the right side of the Peterborough net and the second-year forward lifted in his tenth goal of the playoffs into the Petes net and London was within a goal of tying the game.

The Knights got the puck back into the Peterborough zone but Avery Hayes broke up a pass at the middle of the blue line and went down the ice on a breakaway and sealed the game with a goal into an empty net.

London outshot the Petes 53-34.

Peterborough captain Shawn Spearing dressed for the third game in a row but did not play a single shift. He has a broken jaw.

The Petes were without forwards Tommy Purdeller and Jonathan Melee who are out with injuries.

London was missing Ruslan Gazizov who missed Game 4 with an illness.

McGurn tops Tkachuk

Knights co-captain Sean McGurn scored 31 seconds into Game 3 of the OHL Championship series. According to statistician Geoffrey Brandow, that was the earliest goal in a game played in the OHL final since 1998. It was one second faster than Matthew Tkachuk’s game-opening goal in what ended up being a wild Game 3 between London and Niagara in 2016.

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Tkachuk scored 32 seconds after the opening faceoff only to have the IceDogs respond with four straight goals to lead 4-1 with just over two and a half minutes remaining in the first period. A late goal by Cliff Pu with 53 seconds to go in the opening 20 minutes started a Knights comeback and the teams eventually ended up tied 5-5 at the end of regulation time. After a huge Tyler Parsons save very early into overtime London’s Owen MacDonald poked into the game winner.

London won Game 4 two nights later by a score of 1-0 to capture the fourth Ontario Hockey League championship in team history.

Up next

Game 5 will take place at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont., on May 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Coverage will start at 7 p.m. on 980 CFPL, www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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