The London Knights exploded for five third-period goals to claim a 6-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers in front of 8,996 fans at Budweiser Gardens on Friday night.
The Knights (30-21-2-2) took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission before the Rangers (37-16-2-0) tied the game, 1-1, where the game stood entering the third period.
London went up 2-1 before Kitchener once again tied things up, 2-2, just over five minutes in but then the hosts would score four straight en route to the win.
Mario Culina (12-6-2-0) endured his first loss since joining the Rangers at the trade deadline, making 15 saves on 20 shots.
Joseph Raaymakers (23-10-1-1) picked up the win, making 32 saves on 34 Kitchener shots.
Liam Foudy gave the home side a 1-0 lead just minutes into the game, assisted by Billy Moskal and Alec Regula, at 3:41.
It was the lone goal of the first period, which saw the Rangers dominate the shot clock by a 15-6 margin.
Past the five-minute mark of the middle frame the game was tied, as Kyle Gentles notched his second goal of the season with a blast from the point. Givani Smith earned the lone assist on the goal, which came at 5:07 of the second period.
Shots in the middle frame were 11-6 Rangers for a two-period total of 26-12.
With an early power play opportunity in the third period the Knights capitalized, as Alex Formenton made it 2-1 London with a goal coming on the man advantage at the 47 second mark, from Nathan Dunkley and Evan Bouchard.
But once again the Rangers battled back to tie the game, as Logan Brown made it 2-2 with his 18th goal of the season, unassisted, at 5:54.
From there it was the Knights who took charge, as Golden scored his second of the season just 1:21 later, making it a 3-2 game from Foudy and Moskal, at 7:15.
Just over three minutes later Evan Bouchard gave the Knights their first two-goal lead of the night, before Josh Nelson made it a 5-2 game with four minutes left to play.
Bouchard tallied his second of the night into an empty net to make it 6-2 and round out the game’s scoring.
Final shots on goal favoured Kitchener, 34-21.
The Rangers were 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Knights were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Evan Bouchard (LDN) (3), Liam Foudy (LDN) (2), and Joseph Raaymakers (LDN) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Kole Sherwood each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Rangers go on their eastern swing this weekend when they take on the Kingston Frontenacs on Sunday, February 18 at 2pm, then take on the Ottawa 67’s for a Family Day meeting at 2pm in the nation’s capital. They return to the Memorial Auditorium on Friday, February 23 when they play host to the Sudbury Wolves 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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