(Photo by Claus Anderson/Getty Images)
The London Knights pushed their winning streak on Kitchener ice to nine games with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night. It was also London’s ninth win in their last eleven games. The Rangers are headed the other way, having dropped four of their last five.
With the Knights up by a goal in the third period and Kitchener gaining ground on the old momentum scale, the Knights got the puck into centre and Sam Miletic chipped it into the left corner and went to the net, while J.J. Piccinich won a race and put a pass onto Miletic’s stick and he snapped a shot past Kitchener goalie, Dawson Carty for a 4-2 lead and the eventual game-winning goal.
Miletic was pretty humble about it after the game.
“All I did was chip it in. Robby Thomas and J.J. got up there on the forecheck and suddenly the puck was on my stick.” The goal was Miletic’s 13th goal of the year in just 17 games, tying him for top spot on the Knights with Cliff Pu.
Kitchener cut the lead to a goal for a second time in the game with under five minutes remaining as Dylan Seitz banged in a rebound, but London held strong to the end, sticking to a plan.
“We did our best to move the puck hard along the walls and avoid turnovers,” said Knights’ defenceman Brandon Crawley. “Everyone bought in and won their battles and we won the game.”
The night went through fits and spurts and wasn’t filled with many chances, but it did add a little more evidence that a 3-0 lead between London and Kitchener is about as safe as a tiger in a cardboard cage.
The first time London and Kitchener met this season, a 3-0 Ranger lead late in the second period was dumped on its ear as the Knights came back twice to tie and got the game winner from Victor Mete with 50 seconds left in a 5-4 London victory.
The second meeting saw another 3-0 score on the board in the second period, this time going the Knights’ way.
The scorching hot London power play accounted for two of those goals. Coming into the game, London was 10-for-its-last-18 on the man advantage. NBA players dream of runs like that. They went 2-4 against the Rangers to keep their success rate at better than fifty per cent over their past six games.
A Cliff Pu shot in the first period was stopped but a rebound kicked out to Janne Kuokkanen and he scored to make it 1-0 London, extending Pu’s scoring streak to 15 games. Pu now sits alone in fifth in OHL scoring and has 13 multi-point games this year. Only Kitchener’s Jeremy Bracco has a longer streak going. The Maple Leafs’ prospect picked up an assist to push his streak to 16.
Pu then scored the other power play goal himself, thanks to a no-look, through-the-legs set-up from Owen MacDonald. That had the Knights in front by three.
J.J. Piccinich had the second London goal, scoring 26 seconds into the second period. He and Miletic ended with a goal and two assists on the night.
London was still without Max Jones, out with a lower-body injury, and Victor Mete did not play after helping Team OHL to a 5-2 win over Team Russia in the Canada-Russia series on Monday night.
Tyler Parsons was back in the London net for the second time in the last three games and made 24 saves for the win. “It feels great to be back. That was a long process being out for three weeks. I felt good in both games I have played and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”
The Knights will play host to the North Bay Battalion on Friday as they go through three games in three days. The pregame show will begin at 6:30 on AM 980.
For tickets, call 519-681-0800 x 1, visit the Knights’ Armouries or go online to www.londonknights.com