London, ON: It was the second of three-straight midwest division games for the Rangers (6-3-2-0) as they traveled west down the 401 to play the Knights (5-4-1-0) at Budweiser Gardens for a nationally televised game on Sportsnet.
The Knights struck early and often going up 2-0 in the first period. The second saw more even play but the Knights’ relentless attack made it 3-0. Joseph Garreffa scored his sixth of the season to bring the Rangers within two but a shorthanded goal by Connor McMichael restored the Knights’ three-goal advantage going into the final frame.
A quick goal for Jonathan Yantsis to start the third and bring the Rangers within two was quickly erased as London got two back on Lucas Pfeil who came off the bench to begin the period. It was 6-2 and that’s how the game ended.
Despite outshooting London 4-0 to start the game, the Knights, who came into the night winless in their last three, came out firing during the first half of the opening period. At 6:28 Sahil Panwar scored his first goal of the season on a weird bounce off the boards behind Luke Richardson to put the Knights up 1-0.
The pressure didn’t subside for the Rangers and at 12:04 Billy Moskal was the beneficiary of a shot from the point that ended up on his stick and that made it 2-0 for London.
The Rangers did well to slow the pace of play down for the remainder of the period and it produced a handful of quality opportunities but Knights goaltender Jordan Kooy was up to the task and shot down any early attempts at a Rangers comeback.
The period ended with the Rangers gaining momentum back, however, the game remained 2-0 with the Knights outshooting the Blue Shirts 14-9.
Period two started much more even and both teams had their fair share of chances but both Richardson and Kooy were formidable in net.
The first penalty of the game went to the Rangers on a high stick by Donovan Sebrango which led to a very quick powerplay goal by the Knights on a shot by Cole Tymkin at 9:14.
Early on in the second, Garreffa was moved from defense to offense and it paid off big for Kitchener as their team point leader, in a one-on-one break, found the top corner of Kooy’s net for his sixth of the season to bring the Rangers within two, 3-1. Isaac Langdon and Rickard Hugg picked up assists on the play.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, their first powerplay of the game turned into a shorthanded goal for the Knights and that quickly brought the London lead back to three, 4-1.
The period ended with Kitchener applying lots of pressure on Kooy on a powerplay but ultimately, London maintained their three-goal advantage going into the second intermission. Shots remained in favour of London, 28-15.
The Blue Shirts came out firing to start the third and at 0:54, Jonathan Yantsis picked up his seventh of the season on a tipped Garreffa shot and it was 4-2 London.
The comeback was quashed again on a quick response by the Knights’ Nathan Dunkley, 5-2. It was the first goal against Lucas Pfeil who was put in goal to begin the final frame.
At 7:05, McMichael netted his ninth of the year and second of the game, London went up 6-2 and that’s how the game would end.
Final shots were 39-25 in favour of the Knights.
The Rangers return to action tomorrow, Sunday, October 21 at 2:00 pm, with a road game against the Guelph Storm. The Rangers play again at home on Friday, October 26 to take on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The puck drops at 7:30 pm.
Tickets still available for all regular season home games. Purchase yours in person at the Activa Box Office at The Aud or Centre in the Square Box Office, by phone (519) 578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, or online.
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