It was as dominant a first period as the London Knights could’ve hoped for. That it came against an opponent that had won 13 of its previous 14 games made it all the sweeter.
The Windsor Spitfires flew into Budweiser Gardens on some kind of hot streak hoping to avenge their only loss since Oct. 17, a 3-1 heartbreaker against these very Knights two weeks ago.
London opened the scoring as Chris Tierney did the heavy lifting by keeping the puck alive and shoveling it to Max Domi, who slid it to Mitchell Marner for his sixth of the season.
Marner leads all rookies in scoring with 27 points for good reason. He and Domi buzzed the Windsor zone almost every time they were on the ice in the opening 20 minutes.
Bo Horvat scored the Knights’ second goal on the power play blasting a missile past Alex Fotinos from the top of the faceoff circle.
The Spitfires made a game of it — and, in fact, carried most of the play — through the first 10 minutes of the second as they pressured the Knights, but goalie Anthony Stolarz would have none of it.
Stolarz has been lights out through most of this season. He entered the game with a 14-2-1 record and a tidy .927 save percentage.
Midway through the period, the Knights shook of their mini-slumber when Ryan Rupert took a feed from Horvat from behind the Windsor net and beat Spits goalie Alex Fotinos top shelf for his seventh.
The three-goal lead was too much for Windsor to overcome on this snowy evening.
Marner added an assist, when he drew the Spitfire defence to the right wing and slid the puck to an open Tierney for his team-leading 13th goal to ice the game and bid goodnight to Fotinos, who deserved a better fate.
The Knights hope to continue their winning ways Thursday against the Niagara IceDogs.