The Kitchener Rangers defeated the London Knights on Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 29, 2015. The 14-game London run ended with a 4-2 loss at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in front of an announced crowd of 6,500 fans.
Former Knight, Kole Sherwood broke a 2-2 tie on a power play just before the midway mark of the third period and then completed a hat trick just under 10 minutes later.
The Knights created all kinds of chances right in front of Kitchener goalie Luke Richardson especially in the second period, which ended up giving his team the chance they needed to re-take the lead in the third.
“In the second period, the ice was tilted our way. We had good scoring chances that we just couldn’t bury,” said Knights’ assistant coach Dylan Hunter. “Going into the third, we should have been up maybe by one or two and we kept them around and then a late penalty hurt us.”
That penalty ended up being a double-minor to Adrian Carbonara that led to Sherwood’s go-ahead goal.
Knights’ captain Robert Thomas admitted that he would love to have some of those chances back.
“It’s a positive thing that we got a lot of chances like that. There were just a couple of brain cramps that allowed them to put the puck into the back of our net. We just have to tighten up in the defensive zone and the chances will keep coming.”
That’s the attitude that London needs to have, heading into one of the busiest parts of their schedule that will see them play four games in six days and seven games in 13 days overall.
The Knights outshot Kitchener 33-32 and went 2-for-7 on the man advantage. The Rangers were 1-for-4 on the power play.
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How the goals were scored
Florida Panthers’ draft pick, Adam Mascherin got to a puck behind the London net and found former Knight, Kole Sherwood in front and he opened the scoring at 6:25 of the first period.
The Knights tied the game on a power play just over seven minutes later as London captain, Robert Thomas zipped a cross-crease pass to Alex Formenton and he roofed a shot over Richardson to make it 1-1.
Before the end of the opening period, the Rangers went ahead again as a Greg Meireles shot hit a skate and ricocheted to Adam Liska, who scored his third goal of the season.
Another London power play goal by Formenton tied the game a second time at 9:51 of the second period. Sam Miletic rifled a shot on goal that Richardson got a part of, but it slid behind him, hit the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line where Cliff Pu and Formenton lunged after it. Formenton got the last touch and his fourth goal in nine games since returning from the Ottawa Senators.
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With the teams battling through the third tied 2-2, Adrian Carbonara was assessed a two-minute minor for tripping and then another minor penalty for shooting the puck down the ice as he touched it to stop play. On the ensuing power play, Adam Mascherin’s shot missed the net but bounced off the end boards right to Sherwood and he scored his second of the game to give Kitchener a 3-2 lead.
Sherwood completed the hat trick with 2:53 remaining to complete the scoring in the Rangers’ 4-2 victory.
While their Knights’ teammates had a bit of a break, Evan Bouchard, Formenton and Pu went north and back twice, going to Owen Sound and then to Sudbury for games three and four of the Canada/Russia series. Formenton had an assist in Team OHL’s victory on Monday to even the six-game set at 2-2. Londoner Nick Suzuki had two goals and an assist in that game.
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The Knights have now kicked off four games in six days. Wednesday and Saturday are the only days between now and Monday where an opponent won’t be lying in wait. London is home to Guelph on Thursday and Saginaw on Friday. The Knights visit Windsor on Sunday.
Guelph has some excellent young players who are beginning to shine in the OHL. Defenceman Ryan Merkley loves to have the puck on his stick and is always dangerous. Second-year goalie, Anthony Popovich has the second-best save percentage in the league and Cam Hillis of the Storm leads all rookies in scoring. Guelph has won three games in a row.
There are still tickets available for the game against the Storm. They can be purchased at the Knights’ Armouries, by phone at 519-681-0800 ext. 1 and online at 上海龙凤419londonknights上海龙凤419