(Photo: Melissa Kania)

Preview: Knights vs. Otters

Two teams from the OHL’s Midwest Division face off in a 7 p.m. matchup tonight that will air on NHL Network and Sportsnet across Canada and the United States.

The London Knights, who ended last season at the top of the league, will host the Erie Otters tonight at Budweiser Gardens.

How It Breaks Down

  • London: 5-3-0-0, 10 points, 6th in conference, 37 GF, 21 GA; last game Oct. 14, 5-3 loss to Oshawa
  • Erie: 2-6-1-1, 6 points, 10th in conference, 30 GF, 44 GA; last game Oct. 18, 2-1 loss to Windsor

The teams have faced each other twice so far this season, with the first being a September 21 game in London that saw the Knights come out victorious by a score of 8-2. J.P. Labardo and Connor McDavid scored for Erie, while Seth Griffin had the hat trick for London. Adam Restoule had a pair of goals, while Max Domi, Alex Broadhurst and Brett Welychka each had a goal.

The teams’ second matchup came earlier this month, a 4-3 Knights shootout win on October 6. Stephen Harper, Connor Brown and Connor McDavid scored f0r Erie. Domi, Griffin and Bo Horvat scored in regulation for London, while Kyle Platzer got the lone goal in a nine-round shootout.

Last season: The teams played each other six times last season, with the Knights sweeping the season series and scoring 27 goals in that span of time.

The Otters have some new pieces this year, however, that could quickly turn things around. Fifteen-year-old rookie phenom Connor McDavid – praised even by NHL superstar Sidney Crosby – has accrued 12 points in ten games so far and is on a nine-game point streak. Returning Otter Connor Brown has six goals and five assists, while J.P. Labardo has 10 points (2-8).

Forwards Seth Griffin and Max Domi lead the Knights with 15 points each in eight games.

One stark difference that could prove crucial – or could prove meaningless – between the teams comes when you look at the plus-minus category. For London, there are 17 roster players who are at least a +1. Four other players are neutral (0), and there are no minus players on the team. Erie, however, has no plus players; just 16 players who have a minus-rating and six with zero.

After tonight’s game, the teams will meet again on February 15 and March 13, both in Erie, and February 18 in London.

As previously stated, tonight’s game will be viewable on Sportsnet and NHL Network. It will also be re-aired immediately after, at 10 p.m., on NHL Network. You can also listen online; see here for more information.

Follow both teams on Twitter for more coverage of tonight’s and other games throughout the OHL season.

Tags: Erie Otters London Knights OHL

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