Home debut spoiled for new additions as Kooy backstops Knights to win
Rangers Nation was looking forward to their first home look at the team’s new additions, but Jordan Kooy stole the show.
Kooy made 38 saves on 39 Rangers’ shots as the London Knights (23-17-2-1) staved off the Kitchener Rangers (27-14-2-0), 2-1, in front of 7,250 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Sunday night.
Kooy (6-5-0-1) got the nod in goal after Joseph Raaymakers was given the night off and came under fire early from a Rangers squad that came out flying, scattering 16 shots on goal in the first period of play.
The game was tied 1-1 after the opening 20 minutes before the home side fired another 14 shots on goal in the middle frame for a total of 30 shots through two periods.
The first period power play marker by Damiani turned out to be the only goal the home team would squeeze by Kooy, as Kitchener saw a mini two-game win streak halted. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Knights.
Luke Richardson (18-10-1-0) was stuck with the loss in goal for the Blueshirts, despite making 28 saves. He was named the game’s Second Star in his first start since January 6.
The Knights opened the scoring near the midway point of the first period when Lucas Rowe tallied his first career OHL goal, assisted by Harrison Cottam, at 9:12.
With under four minutes to play in the opening stanza Damiani tied things up with his 14th of the season, a power play marker at 16:32 from Connor Bunnaman and Adam Mascherin, to make it 1-1.
Shots on goal in the first 20 minutes favoured the Rangers, 16-9.
The lone marker of the middle frame belonged to the visitors, as London’s Connor McMichael gave the Knights a 2-1 lead, from Nathan Dunkley and Jacob Golden, at 16:29.
The Rangers led on the shot clock, 30-28, after 40 minutes.
Kitchener fought hard to pot the equalizer in the final frame, commanding the majority of the play and pulling Richardson with over two minutes left to play, but Kooy and the Knights would stave off the Blueshirts in the scoreless third.
The Rangers managed nine shots on goal in the third period, while holding the Knights to just two.
Kitchener was 1-for-3 on the power play while London was 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
Evan Bouchard (LDN) (3), Luke Richardson (KIT) (2), and Jordan Kooy (LDN) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Kole Sherwood, Adam Mascherin, and Logan Stanley each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Rangers are back in action on Wednesday, January 17 when they travel to St. Catharines to face Elijah Roberts and the Niagara IceDogs for a 7pm start. They’re back home at The Aud on Friday, January 19 when they host the Erie Otters at 7:30pm.
Regular season tickets to all Kitchener Rangers home games are $23.00 each for adults, $19.00 for children 12 and under including HST, and are available in person or by calling the Activa Box Office at The Aud, from Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online.
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