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Rookies score, veterans struggle in loss to Knights

Intensity reaches a high on the London bench as Paul McFarland scraps with Knights winger Kelly
Thomson, Thomson would lose the fight as well as being assessed a jersey misconduct.

The good news is that the Rangers didn't allow 7 goals against during this visit to London as they had in their previous 3 visits, the bad news is an 0 and 2 start to the season, and a 6th consecutive loss to the powerhouse London Knights.  Unlike Friday night the Rangers just simply struggled to gain any penetration on the London Knights defence, and Dylan Hunter looked dynamite connecting for both a pair of goals and a pair of assists for a first star performance.  The Rangers scoring was done by a pair of 16 year old rookies 1st round pick: Justin Azevedo and second rounder: Jack Combs.

After trading powerplays in the first period, prompting several big stops from both of the dimunitive netminders: Ryan MacDonald and Eric Pfligler.  Unlike the previous game, the powerplays simply did not have a prominant effect on the outcome of the game.  Late in the first period after lots of forechecking by the Knights, Robbie Drummond finally pounded the puck over the goal line after several attempts by the Knights.  Jordan Foreman went in alone on Eric Pfligler, Pfligler made the first move sliding towards Foreman, but Foreman countered with a brilliant move to the forehand tucking the puck around Pfligler who appeared to have the angle covered.  Things quickly got worse for the Rangers when Dylan Hunter found David Bolland while the Knights were in on a 3 on 2, Bolland who was left alone slapped a one-timer through the pads of Pfligler.

Rick Steadman wins a faceoff against Michael Richards with Ryan MacDonald looking on.

With frustration mounting on the Rangers side, Paul McFarland and Kelly Thomson got into a scrap near center ice (pictured at the top), Thomson drew an extra 10, because of his jersey not being properly tied down at the back.  Another melee ensued quickly afterwards, this time it was kingpin versus kingpin, Michael Richards against Corey Perry.  The pair emerged to the corner and behind the Rangers net where Richards laid a beating on the Knights top scorer.  It seeemed to spark the Rangers bench and that spark would quickly translate into offense.  While shorthanded, Justin Azevedo picked off the puck at the point and skated in on a break, initially his shot didn't go in, but with the puck trickling towards the goal line the London defender inadvertantly kicked the puck in the remainder of the way in while trying to shove the net off.  The Rangers and Knights would then trade posts.  Eric Pfligler heard the iron ring while he was incapacitated with a Knight on top of him in the crease, and down at the other end only one minute later Michael Richards blasted a shot square off of the post as well.

Dylan Hunter closed out the scoring during the third period, with first an even strength goal and finally a powerplay goal midway through the period.  After allowing 4 powerplay goals during the previous matchup, holding the Knights off of the scoreboard while on the man advantage was somewhat of an accomplishment.  Schremp and Perry assisted on both of the third period goals.  The Hunter powerplay goal came on Boris Valabik's 4th penalty of the night, a blatent call for holding where he threw Perry into the ice.  It was one of the worst Rangers penalties of the afternoon, and the only one resulting in a Knights goal, Valabik would not see the ice for the remainder of the game.  Devereaux Heshmatpour was working on some penalty box frequent flyers miles of his own, making 5 trips in total.  With things getting volitile late Futers and Keefe both found their way to the showers early.  Jack Combs took a Michael Richards rebound and turned it into his first OHL goal late in the period making the final score 5-2.

The Rangers were outshot 42-32, but many of the Rangers shots were from outside.  Brandon Prust was serving the first game of his suspension for slew-footing in Friday night's game.  Logan Hunter has a broken leg and is currently out of the lineup, he may have cracked the lineup since there are already 3 overagers.  Rick Steadman was stopped on a breakaway in the second period.  David Clarkson only has one game left to serve in his suspension.  The first period saw the invention of the "kid line" staring all 16 year old Rangers: Justin Azevedo, Myles Applebaum, and Jack Combs.