The London Knights’ perfect record under the ownership of Mark and Dale Hunter is alive and well.
The Knights are headed to the Ontario Hockey League playoffs for a 21st consecutive year.
London and Sault Ste. Marie earned their spots when the Erie Otters were beaten 7-4 by the Niagara IceDogs on March 24.
The Knights currently have an eight-point cushion over the Guelph Storm atop the Midwest Division. Both London and the Storm have 14 games left on their regular season schedules and will meet twice more including Sunday, March 27, in Guelph, Ont.
As much as London has been known as a team that battles for top spot in most year one of their most impressive runs to the post-season came in the very first year of Hunter ownership in 2000-01.
With a team that didn’t fill out its roster until after the season had begun, London battled their way into the final week of the season but sat on the razor’s edge of elimination.
The scenario the Knights faced was a long shot — a Breeder’s Stakes kind of long shot.
London needed to win their final three games and have the Kitchener Rangers lose their final four. One win by Kitchener or one loss by the Knights and London would be on the outside looking in in 2001.
Over a three-day weekend the Rangers lost to Guelph, Erie and Brampton to open the door a crack.
The Knights knocked off Sarnia and then took a trip to Sault Ste. Marie where Jason Davies broke a 5-5 tie in the third period to give London a 6-5 win.
On the final night of the regular season London played host to Owen Sound and Kitchener faced the Storm in Guelph.
The Knights got two goals from Joel Scherban and 22 saves from Aaron Molnar and most importantly a 5-2 Storm victory over the Rangers.
Those two outcomes put London into the post-season and kept Kitchener out.
The Knights have been making the playoffs ever since.
This year, London sits five victories away from yet another 40-win season. They have posted 14 40-win seasons since the year 2000. No other team is even close to that mark.
London has won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as regular season champions six times in that span and has gone on to win four league championships and two Memorial Cups.
The Knights host Owen Sound at Budweiser Gardens on Friday, March 25, to open three games in three days.
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