Luke Evangelista scored four points and Brett Brochu posted his first shutout of the season in the London Knights’ 4-0 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday at Budweiser Gardens.
Evangelista had been excluded from the roster for the first time this season by Sarnia Sting the night before in a game that he called “unacceptable.” He made sure the result was different less than 24 hours later with two goals and two assists.
London fired 40 shots at Kitchener goalkeeper Jackson Parsons after the Sting had limited London to 14.
The Knights power play went 3 of 7 after being blocked by Sarnia.
If the goal was to change what happened from game to game, London can call it mission accomplished.
The Knights got off to a quick start when they put two pucks into Kitchener’s net in the first period, even though they came out with just a 1-0 lead.
Denver Barkey ran across the Ranger’s blue line and ripped a deflected shot off the end boards. Barkey followed the puck, spun and sent a beautiful pass in front of London defender Ethan MacKinnon, who finished off a shot that would have given him his first goal in the Ontario Hockey League. The play was reviewed and an offside was ruled so the goal was annulled.
That left the Knights and Kitchener scoreless until a power play in London with five minutes left in the first period.
Evangelista slid into Kitchener’s goal with a London man lead and scored his 13th goal to make the Knights 1-0.
The Oakville, Ontario native then teamed up with Ruslan Gazizov to set up Colton Smith for another power play in London in the second period. Two passes left Smith with a tap-in to the Ranger’s side of the net for his ninth goal of the year and the Knights advanced into the third period by two goals.
London pounced early in the third period for his only even-strength goal of the game just 46 seconds from the third, when Evangelista pucked Barkey and found Max McCue for McCue’s sixth goal of the year. Barkey now has seven points in his last seven games.
Evangelista finished the day’s scoring at 6:45 with his second power play goal, which was almost a carbon copy of the first, and the Knights returned to sole possession of first place overall in the OHL standings.
London is 12-3-1 in its first 16 games in 2021-22 and will do so again at Kitchener on Sunday afternoon.
Knights goalkeeper Brett Brochu returns to the net with the intention of being even better
Teddy Bear Toss for December 4
The 20th Teddy Bear Toss in London Knights history will occur at 4pm on Saturday December 4 at Budweiser Gardens when the Knights take on Sarnia. All collected plush toys will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution throughout the community. The London record for the bears is 10,671 set in 2012 when Seth Griffith scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal.
The Calgary hitmen of the Western Hockey League have the highest youth record of 29,935 bears. That was achieved in 2019. The world record belongs to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League in December 2019, when they collected 45,650 bears and other stuffed animals.
Griffith playing great
The Edmonton Oilers are getting a lot of offense this season from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The pair sit comfortably 1-2 in the National Hockey League scoring. If the greasers want to go get more spots, they can take a look at what’s going on on the farm. His farm team in Bakersfield, California, is led in scoring by former Knight and Teddy Bear Toss scorer Seth Griffith. The Wallaceburg, Ontario native has 17 points from 13 games and has recorded at least one point in every game he has played this season. Griffith is in the final year of a two-way deal with Edmonton. He has played 79 NHL games with Florida, Buffalo, Toronto and Boston.
London Knights: Back in time – May 15-16
The new Sea Dog scores with few hands
Londoner and former gentleman Jacob Chantler scored his first QMJHL goal on November 19 against Val d’Or Foreurs. Chantler caught a loose puck while Saint John was lacking hands and skidding toward goal. He faked a shot and then crossed the fold and beat Phillipe Cloutier at the Val d’Or net as part of a 5-1 Sea Dogs victory. Chantler played for both the Knights and the GOJHL London Nationals before heading east. Saint John will host the 2022 Memorial Cup in June.
Russian striker Ruslan Gazizov has arrived
Until next time
Rematch. The Knights and Rangers will meet at 2 pm Sunday in Kitchener.
London is 5-2 on the road this season. Kitchener has been struggling at home thus far, going 4-5 under .500.
Coverage will begin at 1:30 pm at 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and in the Radioplayer Canada application.
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