Kitchener, ON.: It was a new-look London Knights visiting the Rangers at The Aud on Sunday. Both Evan Bouchard and Alex Formenton returned from stints in the NHL to supercharge an already surging London team.
Bouchard didn’t waste any time getting his first points of the season. At 6:45 of the opening frame, the defenseman scored to make it 1-0, which is how the first period would end.
The second period, despite a great effort by the Rangers, who were crashing the Knights net all afternoon, ended with a goal for the boys in green, to put them up 2-0.
Once again, Kitchener showed all kinds of grit throughout the final frame and dominated the play for the majority of the final 2o-minutes but it was clearly goaltender Joseph Raaymakers day.
An empty-net goal by Formenton made it 3-0 for London and would be the final.
Lucas Pfeil was absolutely terrific in net for Kitchener and earned himself second-star honours with 33 saves.
Kitchener started the game strong and fast and their efforts culminated in a couple quality chances to score early on. It was London, however, that opened up the scoring on a goal by none other than the promising Edmonton Oilers defensive prospect, Bouchard (1), at 6:35. It was 1-0 for the Knights.
There were plenty of opportunities for the Rangers in the opening period. Rickard Hugg put a shot off the crossbar and on multiple occasions, Knights goaltender Joseph Raaymakers could have been beaten, but the Rangers just couldn’t find a way to put a puck in the back of the net.
The first period came to a close with the Knights leading in shots 9-6, and on the scoreboard, 1-0.
Rangers goaltender Pfeil came up big to start the second period. On a breakaway by the Knights, with the Rangers defense pinching, Pfeil achieved what might have been the save of the night to keep his team’s deficit at just one.
For 19:22 of the middle frame, there were no goals or penalties and it was a terrific period of hockey for both teams, but particularly Raaymakers and Pfeil who were both keeping their teams in the game in what was a terrific display of goaltending.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, with under a minute left in the second, Sergey Popov scored his first of the season for the Knights. The period would end 2-0 in favour of London who were also outshooting the Rangers 28-19.
The third period followed much of the same script as the second with not a lot of scoresheet action but a ton of action on the ice. The Rangers, once again, had a difficult time finding a way to put the puck past Raaymakers and the same was true of the Knights against Pfeil.
The second half of the third was dominated by the Rangers who peppered the net with shots and quality chances but for the second game in a row, Kitchener just couldn’t finish on some great opportunities.
London’s Formenton scored an empty net goal with seconds left and the game ended 3-0 with shots favouring the Knights 36-30.
Kitchener returns to action in Peterborough on Tuesday, November 6 at 7:05 pm face the Petes. The next home game for the Rangers is on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 pm versus the Sarnia Sting.
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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