The London Knights took their 14-game win streak into December 2, (2012) contest versusMississaugaon the tail end of their third game in three nights. The night before, London dressed in a 3-1 win at home, a 7 pm start.
Sunday’s contest marked the third time in (2012)-13 they have dressed for a 7 pm start the previous night and followed up with an afternoon start less than 24 hours between games.
The Knights were on the tail end of their 5th 3-in-3 set, featuring three cases of the late night/afternoon start combination (for the complete breakdown of CHL 3-in-3 sets, the post is here with a link to a GOOGLE Doc containing all teams.
The Knights have two more 3-in-3 sets left in their schedule, once in mid-December (featuring another 7:30 pm Friday start and 2pm Saturday start combination) and another in mid-January before the schedule eases in this regard.
Mississauga had not played the previous evening. It somehow showed. After the Knights went ahead in the third period, tired legs set in, allowing the Steelheads to tie up the contest late in the third period. The game headed for a monster shootout round that featured both bench entirely taking at least one shot in the shootout before Seth Griffith’s second shootout goal extended their streak to 15 games.
These are notes on drafted players on the Knights.
The Maple Leafs late round selection rang in the new season with a strong opening, recording five assists in the first two games, and then seven in six games, but yet to score his first of the season as of Sunday’s game .. his stick prep isn’t mature and he has to make more concerted efforts to keep his blade on the ice .. ineffective and almost uninterested early on in the game, skating out on the perimeter when he was skating – showed lead feet and unwillingness to keep them in motion .. reacted to plays and not heavily involved .. acted more as a finisher than set up man, and was almost just as uninterested in the offensive zone unless he had the puck .. not moving his feet looking sluggish as the game was nearing it’s end .. played with the puck very little on his stick and even got rid of it instead of carrying it on occassion .. more energetic bursts towards the end of the second period before he helped set up brother, Matt, for a 3rd period goal .. could have had a better showing, but sluggish was the only constant through this game.
Sharks second rounder was patient with the puck while maintaining urgency and the pace required at this level .. good puck protection skills along the boards, strong core strength as he plants and twists his torso to move pucks away from oncoming defenders .. a first penalty-killing pairing forward .. features a good active stick, instinctively getting his stick and body into passing lanes and taking away immediate space .. effective as a high PK forward .. wide skating base, horse shoe stride .. speed is adequate when considering the short length of his stride .. showed how he processes the game and his skill level without his stick, banking a beautiful pass off his foot while tied up by a defenseman with his stick tangled .. performed a really high end skilled move with quick thinking to get the puck to an open man advancing the play .. went straight to the net to pick up a rebound from anAndersonshot to score the 3-1 goal .. one of the better forwards this game.
PK pairing with Tierney .. strong forechecking presence .. defensively responsible .. capable straight line, but not an entirely efficient skater off the block .. lacks initial startup burst while pivots and crossovers lack fluidity .. makes good use of speed but loses speed in turns .. engages opponents aggressively and closes up space quick, an effect of hurrying the play, or forcing defenders to make a play earlier than they wanted .. created some offense while paired with Tierney, but was more of a defensive presence utilizing big body and aggression .. mixes it up physically at will and leaves the impression of at least one hit per shift, a good visible quality that will serve well in the professional leagues where finishing checks becomes more important .. will be more imposing with some weight gain and has a good make up for an energy player.
Bruins 5th rounder started the season off strong and continued into November while recording six assists in the weekend’s 3-in-3 set including a four-assist night in Game 1 versus Barrie .. can be somewhat passive defensively and doesn’t fully engage in the defensive zone .. very quick hands with complimentary feet .. elusive with the puck and subtle in his creativity .. will use look offs and shoulder fakes to disguise his intentions .. used his quickness in this game to maneuver around opponents, including a good change-of-pace, but hasn't displayed much imagination .. more a product of being heavily involved getting to pucks and positioning .. didn’t show the dynamic offensive touch after early game displays and seemed to be more of a support figure than initiating .. made up for any less than stellar efforts by scoring twice in the shootout.
Pittsburgh1st rounder ate up ample ice time on the blueline all game playing in every situation, even-strength and special teams - a testament to conditioning, and even morse so considering this was the third game in three nights with a game less than 24 hours previous to this one .. paid attention to warm up where he practiced individual puck/skating drills showing off tight turns with the puck on his stick, without losing momentum in a small, tight turning radius .. skating is a work in progress - lacks natural quickness and sluggish feet haven’t improved .. makes up for any initial burst limitations with a stark demeanor and a presence, complimented by a spanning reach from a big wingspan .. carried the puck out while also displaying a great outlet pass ability – routinely sent out long stretch passes .. concern sparked at watching him hunched over while skating and in any readiness stance, something I feel is indicative of potential future back problems.
Former Clark Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers scorer - with an impressive 73 points in ’11-12 (53-26-47-73) lined up alongsideLondon’s leading scorer Seth Griffith and draft-eligible Max Domi .. complimentary playmaking vision and soft hands .. felt he straggled at times as the late man but otherwise operated in a stealth mode in the offensive zone setting up on the weak side and in soft areas of the ice looking for passes .. set up at times by Domi with cross-ice feeds .. lacks some physical elements and didn’t initiate contact – a mode of preservation .. one play in the second period stood out - in light of him asking for more defensive responsibilities, including penalty killing duty to progress his overall game - while making a strong and determined effort to back check and catch up to his man late in the second period, he interfered using his stick to tie up and interfere instead of marking his man and staying with him .. caught for a penalty on the play .. quick release and good shot.