Kitchener, ON.: The Rangers (18-21-3-0) got out to an early lead over Conference-leading Knights (29-6-4-1) but, ultimately, the Knights ended up coming back and winning the midday contest 5-2.
Riley Damiani scored for the Rangers as did Jonathan Yantsis, who netted his 30th of the season. A solid defensive performance earned rookie Donovan Sebrango third star honours.
FULL GAME REPORT
The game started with the Knights registering six shots to the Rangers’ zero but it was the Blueshirts who struck first against the Midwest division leaders.
At 3:46 of the opening period, Alex Turko took a tripping penalty which put the Knights down a man for two minutes. On the ensuing powerplay, a pass from Joseph Garreffa and an attempt on goal by Greg Meireles ended up on the stick of Jonathan Yantsis who scored his 30th goal of the season on Kitchener’s first shot. 1-0.
Each team traded three penalties and Lucas Pfeil was perfect through 20 minutes of play despite the Rangers getting outshot 14-5. It remained 1-0.
The Knights were finally able to figure out Pfeil at 3:22 of the middle frame. Good puck movement from Kevin Hancock and Josh Nelson led to a pass onto the stick of Antonio Stranges who shot it past a sprawling Pfeil to tie it up, 1-1.
London took the lead at 5:59 when Nathan Dunkley, parked in front of the net, deked around Pfeil to give the Knights their first lead, 2-1.
Paul Cotter took a hooking penalty at 6:39 that gave the Rangers their fourth powerplay of the game. Unfortunately for the home side, Billy Moskal stripped a Rangers defender of the puck at the blueline, which led to a breakaway and a shorthanded goal for the Knights to put them up 3-1.
Riley Damiani, after a Rickard Hugg shot rebounded off Joseph Raaymakers at the top of his crease, was able to tap in his 16th of the season st 11:57. Isaac Langdon also earned an assist on the goal and that made it 3-2.
The Knights restored their two-goal advantage at 14:42 on Dunkley’s second goal of the game. A shot came off the pads of Pfeil and onto the stick of Dunkley who buried his 20th of the season to make it 4-2.
The second period would end with the Knights leading in shots 33-17.
Mike Petizian took a high sticking penalty at 8:28 of the 3rd period and on the powerplay, At 10:05, Liam Foudy netted his 18th of the season to extend the Knights lead to three, 5-2.
Pfeil stopped all seven shots against him in the third period.
The final shots on goal were 39-27 in favour of London.
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, January 18 at 7:30 pm versus the Windsor Spitfires. The next road game for Kitchener is on Sunday, January 27 at 2:07 pm versus the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
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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