London, ON.: It was a dogfight at Budweiser Gardens on Saturday night as the Rangers (23-23-3-0) took on the West Division-leading Knights (36-7-5-1). The game was tied 2-2 deep into the third period, but a couple late goals for the Knights, including an empty-netter, gave London the win, 4-2.
Greg Meireles and Riley Damiani were the goalscorers on the night for the Rangers and Lucas Pfeil was outstanding, stopping 38 of 41 shots.
FULL GAME REPORT
Early in the first period, Joseph Garreffa saw Reid Valade streaking down the centre of the ice towards the Knights net and placed a pass perfectly onto the stick of number 55 who found himself on a breakaway. London’s netminder Jordan Kooy was up to the task and made the save which resulted in a rush the other way.
On the rush, Liam Foudy came into the Rangers defensive zone on Lucas Pfeil’s left side and got off a quick shot that beat Pfeil five-hole at 2:16 to make it 1-0 for the home side.
The period would end with the Knights up one on the scoreboard and in shots where they lead 11-10.
At 2:41 of the second period, Cole Tymkin was ejected from the game for abuse of an official after he got up from being checked in front of Pfeil and threw his stick behind him in frustration for an alleged missed cross-checking call.
There was a total of seven penalties in the second, three for the Knights and four for the Rangers, but neither team was able to beat one another’s goaltender, which kept it at 1-0 heading into the third.
The Knights led in shots 24-19.
At 5:12 of the third period, the Rangers finally found a way past Kooy.
Isaac Langdon put a puck on the net that rebounded off Kooy and onto the stick of Greg Meireles who quickly deked around the London netminder for his 23rd of the season to make it 1-1.
At 11:20, London restored their lead when Adam Boqvist split two Rangers defensemen and fired a puck high on Pfeil to score his 12th of the season to make it 2-1.
The Rangers didn’t take long to respond, however. At 12:40, Donovan Sebrango, coming across the blueline, passed it to Jonathan Yantsis who tipped it forward to Riley Damiani and the assistant captain capitalized in-close on Kooy for his 20th goal of the season to tie it up, 2-2.
London kept the pressure coming and it paid off at 18:02, after the Rangers were pinned in their own zone for a considerable amount of time. A puck was cleared to Riley Coome at the blueline and Coome fired a slapshot through traffic and past Pfeil for his first goal in the OHL to make it 3-2.
At 19:19, Garreffa was trying to clear the puck out of the defensive end and mistakingly shot it into the Rangers empty net to make it 4-2, which is how the game would end. The goal was rewarded to Alex Turko.
The Knights outshot the Rangers 42-26.
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, February 8 at 7:30 pm versus the Hamilton Bulldogs. The next road game for Kitchener is on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm vs the Erie Otters.
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.
Join the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RTown. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.
Click here to view the complete game summary.