Robertson the hero as Peterborough Petes take series lead in OHL championship

16 May 2023 | Sports | 40 |
Robertson the hero as Peterborough Petes take series lead in OHL championship

Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes scored at 2:32 of overtime as the Petes edged the London Knights 6-5 on Monday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

The victory now has the Petes up two games to one in the best-of-7 to decide who will represent the Ontario Hockey League in the 2023 Memorial Cup.

Peterborough got the goal that ended things but the Knights got the early lead in a game that featured more goals through two periods than any other playoff matchup since the Oshawa Generals clashed with Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters in 2015.

London co-captain Sean McGurn tipped an Isaiah George point shot into the Peterborough net just 31 seconds after the opening faceoff.

The Knights went ahead 2-0 when Seattle Kraken prospect Ryan Winterton knocked in a rebound with 15 seconds remaining in a London power play.

The goal moved Winterton into sole possession of the playoff scoring lead with 27 points.

Peterborough cut the lead in half when Owen Beck put a puck at the Knight net from behind the goal line and it snuck through London goaltender Zach Bowen.

The second period kicked up some dust as the teams combined for six goals.

First, the Petes tied with with a breakaway tally by J.R. Avon but the Knights came back when McGurn stripped a puck away from a Peterborough defender, walked in by himself and scored his 10th of the playoffs to make it 3-2.

That lead lasted just over five minutes until Chase Stillman stepped across the London blue line and zipped a wrist shot into the top corner to knot the game up again.

The Petes took their first lead of the game less than three minutes after that when Brennan Othmann grabbed a puck in centre ice and came into the Knights zone on the right side and scored. The London bench felt that Othmann had slashed Winterton before picking up the puck.

The goals kept on coming. Knights forward Brody Crane batted in a rebound at the 12:59 mark of the second period to tied the game for a third time in the middle frame. Then, just one minute and 22 seconds after that, London defenceman and Boston Bruins prospect Jackson Edward put a snap shot through Michael Simpson to give the Knights a 5-4 lead through 40 minutes.

Chase Stillman tied the game at five just 1:13 into the third period when he fired a low shot into the London net for his second goal of the game.

That set the stage for Robertson to be the overtime hero as a shot from the blue line by Avery Hayes hit a body in front and dropped down beside Robertson and he swept it over the goal line.

The Knights were missing both Denver Barkey and Easton Cowan. The two London forwards were out with non-COVID illnesses. The Knights were also without Brett Brochu who suffered a lower-body injury in Game 2 of London’s series with the Sarnia Sting.

Peterborough was missing forward Tommy Purdeller.

Once again Petes captain Shawn Spearing dressed and sat on the bench but did not play. Spearing borke his jaw blocking a shot in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

The Knights outshot Peterborough 39-25.

The Knights annually lead the Ontario Hockey League in attendance by packing 9046 fans into Budweiser Gardens on game nights. They are at or near the top of the Canadian Hockey League as well when you incorporate the numbers across all of Major Junior hockey.

However, as the second games of each of the three remaining playoff series were played on May 13, London could not have had the largest CHL crowd of the day. They didn’t have a chance. A total of 18 259 were on hand as the Halifax Mooseheads knocked off the Quebec Remparts 6-3 in Quebec City.

The Winnipeg Ice moved to the the home of the Winnipeg Jets and had over 15,000 seats to fill (attendance was 5,691). The Seattle Thunderbirds doubled up the Ice 4-2. The Knights ranked second in CHL attendance that night with a sellout of 9046. Every series is now tied 1-1

The Knights and Petes will play Game 4 of the OHL Championship Series on Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m., at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

Game 5 will be back at Budweiser Gardens on Friday, May 19 also at 7:30 p.m.

Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

by 980 CFPL