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OHL: Tavares takes point scoring lead in Knights win

The Canadian Press

1/25/2009 9:36:42 PM

It took 38 games and a trade to the London Knights, but John Tavares is finally the top scorer of the Ontario Hockey League.

Tavares scored and added three assists on Sunday to pass Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires for the OHL scoring lead as the Knights subdued the Sudbury Wolves 6-2.

Tavares caught fire after joining London on Jan. 8, racking up nine goals and 14 points in his first six games as a Knight. With Sunday's four-point effort, the Oakville, Ont., native raised his season total to 68 points (35 goals, 33 assists), two ahead of Hall and three more than Justin DiBenedetto of the Sarnia Sting.

On Sunday, Tavares opened the scoring four minutes 46 seconds into the game and Michael Del Zotto scored a power-play goal with one second remaining in the first period to give London a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Elsewhere in the OHL, Windsor became the first team in the OHL to clinch a playoff spot this season with a 6-3 win over Plymouth. Also, it was: Brampton 6 Kitchener 0; Mississauga 5 Niagara 4 (SO); Ottawa 4 Erie 2; Belleville 2 Oshawa 0; and Saginaw 3 Sault Ste. Marie 2.

At London, Ont., Philip McRae added two goals and an assist for the Knights (35-10-0-2), while Del Zotto, John Carlson and Nazem Kadri all had a goal and an assist.

Akim Aliu and Gerome Giudice replied for the Wolves (19-22-2-4).

Trevor Cann made 30 saves to earn his 19th win for London. Sudbury netminder Andrew Loverock stopped 36 shots in a losing effort.

Spitfires 6 Whalers 3

At Windsor, Ont., Greg Nemisz and Eric Wellwood both scored twice as the Spitfires doubled up Plymouth.

Taylor Hall scored his 28th goal of the season and Justin Shugg, with his 16th of the season, also scored for the Spitfires (42-5-0-1), who extended their winning streak to 13 games. Ryan Ellis, Dale Mitchell and Lane MacDermid all chipped in with two assists .

Matt Caria, AJ Jenks  and Jamie Devane scored for the Whalers (22-21-5-0).

Battalion 6 Rangers 0

At Brampton, Ont., Matt Kang scored twice and Thomas McCollum stopped all 24 shots that he faced as the Battalion pounded Kitchener.

Evgeni Grachev had a goal and two assists to extend his points streak to 10 games, while Cody Hodgson has now gone 17 straight games with at least a point, contributing a pair of assists in the victory. Brampton (31-14-1-1) also got goals from Jason Dale, Josh Day and Sam Carrick as they pushed their winning streak to seven games.

Parker Van Buskirk was solid in goal for the Rangers (19-26-1-1) despite the lopsided score, making 35 saves.

Majors 5 IceDogs 4 (SO)

At St. Catharines, Ont., Michael Pelech scored in the seventh round of the shootout to lift Mississauga over the IceDogs.

Jared Gomes and Jesse Messier also scored in the shootout and added a goal and an assist each in regulation for the Majors (25-19-1-2). Jordan Mayer and Rob Flick had the other goals.

Patrick Lee and Mathew Sisca each scored once and added an assist for Niagara (20-19-4-5), while Mathew Maione and Andrew Shaw also scored. Alex Pietrangelo and Drew Schiestel found the net in the shootout for the IceDogs.

67's 4 Otters 2

At Ottawa, Cody Lindsay scored once and set up another goal and rookie defenceman Brian Birkhoff had four assists to help the surging 67's defeat Erie.

Thomas Kiriakou, Thomas Nesbitt and Ryan Martindale added goals for the 67's (28-16-2-2), who won their second straight game and fourth in five contests.

Luke Gazdic and Mike Cazzola replied for the Otters (23-23-2-0), who lost for the second time in less than 24 hours following an 8-2 defeat Saturday night to the Bulls at Belleville.

Bulls 2 Generals 0

At Oshawa, Ont., Mike Murphy made 22 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as Belleville blanked the Generals.

Eric Tangradi and Nick Palmieri scored for the Bulls (32-13-2-2), who won their sixth straight.

Michael Zador stopped 30 shots for Oshawa (21-21-1-4).

Spirit 3 Greyhounds 2

At Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Chris Chappell's late first-period power-play goal was the eventual game-winner as Saginaw held off the Greyhounds.

Tyler Murovich and Barry Sanderson also scored in the first period for the Spirit (27-17-0-3), who led 3-0 heading into the second.

Carson Dubchak and Jacob Muzzin found the net for Sault Ste. Marie (16-29-2-1), which is on a five-game losing skid.