Ryan Rupert and Bo Horvat scored in the first period and the tight-checking London Knights held on for 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in the final round robin game for both teams at the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Tuesday night.
Greg McKegg also scored and Austin Watson added an empty-net tally for London, which outshot Edmonton 28-21 and held them to 0-for-6 on the power play.
Keegan Lowe scored for the Western Hockey League champion Oil Kings who were coming off a 5-2 loss to the defending champion Saint John Sea Dogs on Monday.
The Knights can take first place and get a bye to the final if Saint John beats the host Shawinigan Cataractes in the last round robin game on Wednesday night. If Shawinigan wins, the Cataractes will take top spot because they won their game against London.
There wasn’t a lot of atmosphere with London closing down the flow after taking the lead and with neither Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team playing. The dullest game to date drew the lowest attendance yet with 3,955 at the Bionest Centre.
For a second game in a row, Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit let in an early goal, this time on the first shot of the game at 1:17 as Matt Rupert picked off a Griffin Reinhart pass and fed his brother Ryan in front for a shot that trickled between the pads.
Horvat followed in on a rush to fire in a rebound at 12:22.
The Knights killed off a long two-man advantage late in the period, but with only three seconds left, Lowe joined a rush and was left alone to take a Henrik Samuelsson feed and beat Michael Houser from the doorstep.
Neither team was able to generate chances for most of the third period, as only three shots were taken in the first 10 minutes, until one quick flurry when Edmonton’s Mitchell Monoz hit a goalpost and, on a rush to the other end, low-scoring McKegg scored on a Max Domi rebound.
The first period was marked by a nasty hit as London’s Vladislav Namestnikov appeared to leave his feet to out an open ice hit to the head of Klarc Wilson. No penalty was called, and Wilson was able to stay in the game.
Notes: Lowe’s father, Edmonton Oilers’ president Kevin Lowe, was on hand to see his son score. . . In a bid to improve the poor ice that marked earlier games, game-day skates have been moved to another arena and entrances to the seats were kept sealed by plastic sheeting until about an hour before game-time. With that and cooler weather outside, the ice looked better.