London, ON: The Knights (11-5-1-1) hosted the Rangers (7-7-2-2) at Budweiser Gardens for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon.
Jonathan Yantsis gave the Rangers a first period lead on his 12th of the season but the Knights scored four unanswered goals to go up 4-1 going into the third period.
In the third, Michael Vukojevic and Reid Valade scored but it wasn’t enough as the Knights added another and won 5-3.
Nathan Torchia stopped 20 in the loss.
At 12:51 of the opening frame, Luke Evangelista scored but the goal was immediately called back for goaltender interference. The Knights would officially challenge the play but the video replay would confirm the interference and that sent the Rangers to their second powerplay of the afternoon.
On the powerplay, Greg Meireles passed cross-ice to Riley Damiani who threaded the puck through the Knights defencemen down-low to Jonathan Yantsis who tapped in his 12th of the season to make it 1-0 at 14:01.
Just over a minute later, at 15:05, Matvey Guskov (5) struck back for the Knights on a third chance opportunity on Nathan Torchia who was making his first-ever OHL start. The score was 1-1.
The Rangers would lead in shot after the first period, 10-8.
Off the opening faceoff of the second period, Ryan Stepien got his stick up on Connor McMichael and that put the Knights on the powerplay.
26-seconds into the powerplay, at 0:38, it was McMichael (20) who executed a lazy shot past a heavily screened Torchia to put the Knights up, 2-1.
Liam Foudy got in on the action at 7:36 when Antonio Stranges found the left-winger in-close on Torchia. Foudy (8) drifted across the top of the Rangers’ crease until Torchia was out of position and he wristed it in to make it 3-1.
London extended their lead at 14:22 when Alex Regula found Billy Moskal (2) breaking towards the net and Moskal made good on the opportunity to score his second of the year and it was 4-1.
Despite the Rangers heavily outshooting the Knights 32-19, Kitchener still trailed by three going into the final frame.
At 7:51 of the third period, Isaac Langdon passed it to Michael Vukojevic (1) who wristed a shot from the blueline past a screened Dylan Myskiw to cut the Knights lead in half, 4-2.
At 16:46, Liam Hawel took a match penalty for a slew foot.
On the ensuing powerplay, Kirill Steklov scored his first goal of the season to extend the Knights lead to 5-2.
Just six seconds later, Reid Valade went backhand, forehand, backhand for an impressive goal, his seventh of the season, to make it 5-3.
That’s as close as the Rangers would get despite outshooting the Knights, 42-25.
The next home game for the Rangers is this Tuesday, November 19th at 7:00 pm versus the Guelph Storm. The next road game is on Sunday, November 23rd at 7:05 pm versus the Peterborough Petes.
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