ERIE, Pa. - Steven Tarasuk scored the overtime winner as the London Knights came back to beat the Erie Otters 5-4 on Saturday night in Ontario Hockey League action.
Tarasuk finished with two goals for the Knights (5-1-0-0). Anthony Luciani led the Otters (2-2-1-1) with a goal and two assists, while Andrew Yogan had a goal and assist.
Early pressure sparked the Otters to a quick 1-0 lead. The line of Yogan, Luciani and Greg McKegg - which began the night with 12 goals in five games - opened the scoring less than four minutes into the opening period. McKegg poked a rebound of Luciani's shot through Knights goaltender Michael Hutchinson's pads.
Seven minutes later, Otters captain Zack Torquato redirected defenceman Tyler Hostetter's pass past Hutchinson for a 2-0 lead. But a subsequent Otters' power play led to Erie's lead being sliced in half.
A giveaway at the Knights' blue line sparked Knights winger Zac Rinaldo's short-handed breakaway goal with 4:35 left in the period. The Knights tied the score at 2 on Tarasuk's goal with 2:28 left. His shot from the wing bounced off Otters goaltender Shane Owen's glove, floated through the air and landed just inside the goal line.
Then the Knights' speed took over for the tiebreaking goal, as a quick counter-attack led to rookie winger Seth Griffith's first OHL goal on a 2-on-1 rush with 8:37 left in the second.
Erie's offence stagnated in the second period. The Otters totaled eight shots, most coming late in the period, after recording 16 in the first. But the Otters managed to tie the score at 3 on the power play, as Luciani scored his team-leading seventh goal with 8:02 left in regulation.
Luciani, who scored six goals in 59 games as a rookie last season, ranks among the OHL leaders this season. Luciani then assisted on Yogan's go-ahead goal three minutes later, but another defensive miscue led to Justin Taylor's unassisted goal for London, which tied the score at 4 with 4:36 left.
Erie gained an edge in the final minute of regulation, as Knights center Nazem Kadri's hooking penalty handed the Otters a power play that carried into overtime. But the Otters failed to capitalize.
Hutchinson finished with 37 saves, while Owen stopped 32 shots.