London Knights end weekend with 5-3 victory over Kitchener

Jim Van Horne/ 980 CFPL

The London Knights got goals from five different players and a 39 save performance from Dylan Myskiw as they defeated the Kitchener Rangers 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Budweiser Gardens.

The win allowed London to bounce back after opening the weekend with a home-ice loss to Flint on Friday.

Connor McMichael’s 20th goal of the season on a powerplay and a goal by Liam Foudy less than seven minutes later gave the Knights the cushion they needed to win for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

Myskiw earned his fifth victory in six starts in a Knights uniform. He also picked up his first OHL point on a goal by Billy Moskal in the second period.

The teams headed into the second tied 1-1 after goals by Matvey Guskov of London and Jonathan Yantsis of the Rangers.

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The Knights broke the game open in the middle 20 minutes on McMichael’s 20th goal just 38 seconds after the opening faceoff. Liam Foudy and Billy Moskal added to the London lead before the third period.

Kitchener defenceman and Florida Panthers draft pick Michael Vukojevic cut the Knights lead in half as he fired a wrist shot through traffic and into the London net at 7:58 of the third period.

A major penalty to Liam Hawel late in the final period allowed the Knights to finish the game on the power play and allowed Kirill Steklov to record his first OHL goal on a blast set up by Nathan Dunkley in the final minute.

Reid Valade of the Rangers scored six seconds after the Steklov goal to close out the scoring.

Tonio Stranges and Jonathan Gruden each had a pair of assists for London.

History was made during the first period when the first-ever coaches challenge was used by the Knights. Luke Evangelista made a move and puck a puck into the Kitchener net only to have the goal waved off immediately due to goaltender interference. After a lengthy review by the officials, the call was upheld, keeping the game scoreless. The opportunity to challenge goaltender interference just came into effect on Friday as new replay techniques were introduced by the Ontario Hockey League.

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Replay was also used in the third period to review Hawel’s slew-footing major. It was upheld and Hawel will now receive an automatic suspension.

The Knights now head out on a three-game road trip to Mississauga, Kitchener and Erie before returning to Budweiser Gardens to take on the Windsor Spitfires on November 29 at 7:30.

READ MORE: Corey Perry reaches 1000 games in the NHL

Jeff Carter at 1,000

Londoner Jeff Carter played in his 1,000th game in the National Hockey League on Saturday, Nov. 16, at home to the Vegas Golden Knights. Carter was mic’d up for the game and joked in the pre-game warm-up that is was “just another game.” Then he went out and made it memorable by scoring the game-winner with under eight minutes left. Carter has scored 317 goals and posted 713 points in those 1,000 games. He has won two Stanley Cups with the Kings, scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 2012 and has a gold medal from Team Canada’s victory in 2014. Carter came up through the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and Strathroy Rockets organizations.

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New Video review now in play in the OHL

Fans at Budweiser Gardens got their very first look at the next level of video review in the first period of Sunday’s game against Kitchener. A goaltender interference call against London forward was reviewed using a tablet inside the timekeeper’s bench. After a close-up look, the call of “no-goal” was upheld.

Overhead cameras have now been installed at every arena and tablets will be available in every penalty box area for on-ice officials to use to asses certain things that might take place during games.

A release from the OHL reads, “Based on their discretion, referees and linesmen will have access to video review to ensure that the correct call on the ice was made as it relates to the assessment of major/match penalties, high-sticking double-minors as well as offside situations when a goal has been scored.”

There will also be a coach’s challenge available to any team, provided they have a timeout remaining, should they want officials to review a goaltender interference call that either was or was not signaled by one of the referees. Should the challenge not result in a change to the ruling on the ice, the team will forfeit their timeout. If the on-ice call is changed, the team retains their timeout.

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READ MORE: London Knights billet families: ‘One of the most important aspects of junior hockey’

The Guelph Storm are still rebuilding… right?

The Storm loaded up last year at the OHL trade deadline and went on to win the 2019 OHL championship. They watched more than ten players who helped them win that title graduate and used an influx of young players to fill their roster to start 2019-20. But Guelph has found ways to keep winning this year. They have reeled off eight consecutive victories and that has them in the running for first overall in the Western Conference.

READ MORE: Flint Firebirds halt London Knights five-game winning streak

Up next

Nine of the next eleven games for the London Knights will be played away from Budweiser Gardens. The Knights are in Mississauga on Thursday and will then play their second game against Kitchener in less than a week on Friday night. After that London is off to Erie, Penn., for a Sunday afternoon game against the Otters. London is 2-0-0-1 against Erie this year.

Coverage on 980 CFPL will begin at 6:30 on Thursday and Friday and at 1:30 on Sunday. Games can also be heard at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.