London Knights win the battle, eliminate Kitchener Rangers from playoffs
The Ranger’s 60th season has come to an end, and with it, the hopes of hoisting the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
On Thursday, the London Knights bested the Blue Shirts in the second round of the playoffs, eliminating the Rangers after just five games.
After a scoreless first period, Max McCue with the Kinghts found the back of the net around five minutes into the second period.
Minutes later, Denver Barkey with the Knights tucked the puck away to give London a 2-0 lead.
On a short-handed power play, Barkey was able to slip one between the bars to give the Knights another one, bringing the score to 3-0.
Logon Mailloux added the Knights fourth and final goal late in the third.
The Rangers fell to the Knights in the first two games of the second round series but were able to claw back a win on home ice in game three.
The victory was short-lived, with the Knights firing on all cylinders to trounce the Rangers in a 5-0 victory in the fourth game of the series held at the Aud on Tuesday.
SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE
Second Round - Game 5
The London Knights eliminated the Kitchener Rangers in Game 5.
The Knights won 4-0.
Second Round – Game 4
Rangers lose 5-0
The London Knights started off strong in the first period with goals from George Diaco and Denver Barkey. The period ended with the Knights leading 2-0.
The Knights scored their third goal of the game early in the second thanks to Sean McGurn.
Then, in the final seconds of the second period, Ryan Humphrey again scored for London.
The score was 4-0 for the Knights going into the third, but it didn't stay that way for long.
Connor Federkow got London's fifth and final goal of the game to give them the 5-0.
The Knights now lead the series 3-1 heading back to London to play a potentially series deciding game five at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Second Round – Game 3
Rangers win 6-1
Kitchener Rangers’ captain Francesco Pinelli made his playoff return following a three-game suspension and wasted no time making an impact.
With nine seconds left in the first period, Pinelli sniped a short-handed goal, giving Kitchener a 1-0 lead heading into the second.
Roman Schmidt added another goal for the Rangers at the beginning of the second period but then London’s Ryan Humphrey got the Knights on the board with a goal of his own.
Rangers led 2-1 heading into the third period.
Pinelli made sure that his presence was felt throughout the duration of the game as he scored again to start off the third.
Francesco Acrcuri, following the captain’s lead, gave the Rangers’ a 4-1 advantage with his own goal 30 seconds later.
Two final goals from Mitchell Martin and Ty Hollet would cement the Rangers a 6-1 victory in front of 7,356 fans.
The two teams will play again Tuesday for Game 4 of the best-of-seven series.
Second Round - Game 2
Rangers lose 8-4
The London Knights wasted little time to get the action going in front of a home crowd for Game 2 of the series.
Logan Mailloux opened the scoring for London only 45 seconds into the matchup, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, London’s Sam Dickinson capitalized on the power-play with a goal of his own.
Another power-play goal for the Knights came from Ryan Winterton halfway through the first period, giving London a 3-0 lead early in the game.
Into the second period and the scoring continued for the Knights with a goal from Easton Cowan only 30 seconds in.
Connor Federkow and Brody Crane added two more for London before Kitchener’s Reid Valade got the Rangers on the scoreboard to end the period with the Knights leading 6-1.
Early in the third, Kitchener’s Mitchell Martin pitted another, closing the gap slightly with the Rangers’ trailing by four.
Sean McGurn scored again for the Knights, extending their lead to 7-2.
A pair of last-effort goals from Francesco Arcuri would bring the Rangers within three of the Knights but with 15 seconds left of play, Ruslan Gazizov secured London’s 8-4 victory with a goal of his own.
Second Round - Game 1
Rangers lose 5-1
Denver Barkey scored the Knight’s opening goal on home ice while on the power play with 45 seconds remaining in the first period.
With no answer from the Rangers, London’s Sean McGurn made it 2-0 in the second period with another power-play goal.
Shortly after, Ryan Humphrey added another goal and the second period finished with London leading 3-0.
Into the third, Humphrey scored his second of the night, elevating the Lightning to a 4-0 lead.
Kitchener didn’t give up without a fight though, as Francesco Arcuri put the Rangers on the board with four minutes left of play.
However, George Diaco cemented London’s win with a final goal, giving the Knights a 5-1 victory. That marks Kitchener’s first playoff loss this year.
FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
First Round - Game 4
Rangers win 5-1.
Following a scoreless first period, the Windsor Spitfires made quick work in the second with a goal from Jacob Maillet, giving Windsor a 1-0 advantage.
Carson Rehkopf answered for Kitchener six minutes later while on the power play, earning the Rangers their first goal of the night and tying up the game.
Kitchener continued to apply the pressure in the second period, taking the lead for the first time with a goal from Danny Zhilkin.
With 30 seconds left in the period, Filip Mesar added another goal for Kitchener, giving the blueshirts a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Seven minutes into the final period, Mitchell Martin scored one of his own, putting the Rangers up by three with a 4-1 lead.
Reid Valade cemented the Rangers’ 5-1 win with a last-minute empty-netter.
First Round - Game 3
Rangers win 6-3
On Thursday, the Kitchener Rangers were leading 1-0 heading into the third period, thanks to a goal by Carson Rehkopf late in the first.
"I think sometimes when you're the underdog you step up your game," one fan said. "That's exactly what happened in this series."
Eight more goals would find the back of the net by the end of the game.
The Spitfires evened it up with a score by Alex Christopoulos, only for Adrian Msaljevic of the Rangers to score five minutes later, only for Windsor to even it up again with a goal from Rodwin Dionicio at the ten-minute mark.
"I think they've been very consistent, dedicated, and they want it," another Rangers fan said. "They've got the hunger for it."
Scores from Mitchell Martin and Francesco Arcuri about a minute apart gave the Blue Shirts some wiggle room, and while Windsor did score again, two late-game goals from the Rangers sealed the deal.
"Tonight was a nail biter right until the head," said Mike Mckenzie, head coach of the Kitchener Rangers. "We got some timely goals, our goaltending has been really good, and overall the guys are playing hard and we're kind of sticking to the gameplan."
The Rangers will look to advance to the second round of the OHL playoffs with a game four win in Kitchener Thursday night.
"Thursday, we're going to have to sweep up," another fan said. "We're going to have to sweep them."
First Round - Game 2
Rangers win 4-0
On Saturday, the Kitchener Rangers returned to the home ice of the Windsor Spitfires looking to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The blue shirts finished the first period with a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Francesco Pinelli and Ty Hollettt.
In the second, Kitchener native Matthew Sop netted two scores of his own.
Both teams were scoreless in the third, which resulted in a 4-0 win for the Rangers.
Marco Costantini recorded the shutout for Kitchener and posted 31 saves.
The Rangers will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead back at the Aud for game three.
First Round - Game 1
Rangers win 5-3
On Thursday, the Rangers kicked off the first game of the playoffs, taking on the Windsor Spitfires on their home ice.
The Rangers took an early lead with Reid Valade finding the back of the net within the first minute of the game.
Around 10 minutes later, Adrian Misaljevic put one between the posts to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Spitfires answered the call as Brett Harrison cut the lead 2-1.
With the second period underway, Francesco Pinelli tucked away his first goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
Spitfires Shane Wright answered with a wrap-around goal to make it 3-2.
Minutes later, Trent Swick scored for the Rangers to bringing the score to 4-2.
With 1:04 left in the game, Valade scored his second goal of the night, this one on an empty net.
The Spitfires scored with 23 seconds left in the game to make it 5-3, but the game was out of reach for Windsor.