By Alex Headley
The Generals got back on the winning track in Oshawa Sunday night; they beat the reigning OHL Champion London Knights 5-3 before a crowd of 4,828 at the General Motors Centre. Oshawa briefly gave up a 2-goal-lead in the third, before Scott Sabourin provided an answer, putting the Generals on top for good. 4 Generals had multi-point nights and Sabourin netted a hat-trick in the win.
Daniel Altshuller was back in goal for Oshawa, facing former goaltending partner, Kevin Bailie, who was backstopping the visiting Knights at the other end of the rink. Both goaltenders were tested in the opening frame, with Oshawa outshooting London, 16-14.
In the first, both sides scored on the power play, and headed to the dressing room tied at 1.
The Generals struck first, capitalizing on a nice passing play at 4:15. Geoffrey Schemitsch fed Cole Cassels in the slot, who made no mistake, roofing his first of the season under the crossbar and in. Oshawa led 1-0.
The Knights responded with a power play marker of their own at 6:19. Bo Horvat scrambled to the side of the net, found the rebound, and tapped home his 4th to tie the game.
Oshawa’s special teams were strong, killing off a lengthy 4-on-3 London power play, followed by a brief Knights’ 2-man-advantage mid-frame.
Lucas Lessio and John Urbanic amped up the physical intensity, and set the tone for the middle twenty.
In the second, the Generals tipped the scales in their favour, scoring 2 unanswered goals to take control of the game.
Oshawa’s power play restored the lead at 14:12, when veteran, Scott Sabourin, potted a rebound after Matt Petgrave’s point shot found its way through traffic.
Now 2-1, Boone Jenner added insurance at 15:16. Sprung in by Tyler Biggs, Oshawa’s captain shovelled his 9th past Bailie far side, giving Oshawa a 2-goal-cushion.
Altshuller was flawless in the middle frame; he made a brilliant pad stop on Max Domi who fired from point blank range after curling out from behind the net. The Generals took a 3-1 advantage into the final twenty.
A string of Knights’ power plays put the game’s outcome in doubt, allowing London to draw even, early in the third.
First, Bruins’ prospect, Seth Griffith, rifled home a wrist shot from the slot just 20 seconds in, narrowing Oshawa’s lead to 3-2.
Then, Horvat scored his second of the night, completing a lovely passing play with a back-door one-timer.
Tied at 3, Sabourin countered with his second of the night at 6:10. Streaking down the right side, the Generals’ winger ripped a wrist shot that exploded over Bailie’s right shoulder, giving Oshawa a 4-3 edge.
Oshawa’s penalty kill came up big late in the frame, and with less than a second left on the clock, Sabourin completed the hat-trick, burying an empty net wrister to complete Oshawa’s 5-3 win.
Oshawa outshot London 40-35.
Scott Sabourin and Cole Cassels picked up the first and second star selections in the victory.
Oshawa’s next game is this Friday October 19th when the Generals travel to Kitchener to take on the Rangers. The game goes at 7:30 PM and can be seen live on Rogers TV Durham.
The Generals next home game is this Sunday October 21st against the Plymouth Whalers at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa. Start time is 6:05 PM. Come cheer on a Gens’ team that is First in the East Division.