The Rangers struggles continued on Friday night in London, a building which hasn't been friendly to any OHL teams during the month of October and certainly wasn't friendly for the Rangers on Halloween night either. The good news for the Rangers was that the lobsided score was not completely indicative of the close game that was played through the first two periods. Infact 4 of the 7 Knights goals took place during the final 8 minutes of the third period. A lazy shot by Logan Hunter found it's way through the legs of Kellerman and suddenly the flood gates had opened. The Knights went on to score 3 more goals, the final two while on the powerplay in the final minute of the game.
The loss, may have been more than demoralizing for the Rangers, who lost the services of Marcus Smith during the third period. Smith is one of only two Rangers' defenders with prior experience in the OHL It is unknown if Marcus Smith will miss any time, but it is obviously a scenario that may exemplify best why the Rangers must acqure at least one more veteran defender should they plan on being competitive over the course of the remainder of the season.
The Knights clearly got out of the gate quicker
than the Rangers. Trevor Kell opened the scoring early as the Knights
buzzed around the Rangers' zone seemingly at will. The Rangers twice
dug the puck off of the goal line to prevent goals and eventually they
began to play with the OHL leaders. Continuing the pattern established
in Toronto, the Rangers got offense from some of their rookies. Both
Mike Chmielewski and Peter Franchin created chaos infront of Knights rookie
Ryan MacDonald while centered by: Richards. Chmielewski found the
back of the net and the Rangers were back on even terms. Late in
the period, popular Rangers' rookie: Boris Valabik encountered Danny Bois,
during the spirited fight Valabik showed his strength while Bois displayed
much of his prowess with his fists. The fight seemed to spark the
Rangers who ended up on a full 2 minute, 2 man advantage after a Corey
Perry unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Nathan O'Nabigon made good
while the Rangers were playing 5 on 3 to give the Rangers their first and
only lead, his goal was simply chipped over the shoulder of the dimunitive
The Rangers continued to play with the Rangers in the second period. While on the powerplay former Rangers' first round pick: Scott Sheppard picked up the puck which carromed off of the boards and punched it right into the Rangers' goal which was partially vacated by Kellerman. The goal would be followed by several close opportunities, some thwarted by Kellerman who looked sharp during the second period, others made contact with the goal posts behind Kellerman. Momentum swung in the favour of the Knights late in the period on a spectacular rush where he put a backhand shot over the shoulder of Tyson Kellerman into the top corner of the net.
The third for the first 12 minutes was very uneventful. Both the Rangers and the Knights had several powerplays which they were not able to connect on prior to Dylan Hunter's five-hole shot finding it's way through Kellerman's pads. The shot, itself appeared to be targeted towards the top corner, once Kellerman flinched the puck barely found the space to sneak through and into the net. Corey Perry followed up with an encore performance of his first goal, again busting through the Rangers' defense and finding the top corner on the backhand.
Late in the game, Danny Bois was busy with his gloves off, and this time the Ranger involved with Adam Keefe, Keefe was thoroughly beaten, and unfortunately took down Bois with what was interpreted as a slew-foot, prompting a 5-minute match penalty. Perry completed his hattrick while on a two-man advantage and David Bolland ended the scoring only seconds later moments afte his teammate: Trevor Kell had crashed into Kellerman.
Chmielewski's goal was his second in as many games. The Rangers were without Patrick Davis who is out with a shoulder injury. Both Anthony Pototschnik and Mike Duco were healthy scratches. The Knights powerplay went 3 for 8, with two of those goals coming in the final minute of regulation. The Rangers, now playing .500 hockey have only one win in their last 7 games.