There is a reason Malcolm Gladwell has received such major recognition for his book, “The Outliers.”

In it he talks about a ten thousand hour rule that states that in order to be world class at something, you need ten thousand hours of “deliberate practice.”

That kind of experience made the difference for the Kitchener Rangers on Thursday night in a 5-1 victory over the London Knights at Budweiser Gardens.

Coming off a week that saw the Knights’ become younger through trades aimed at bettering the team with an eye on the near future, the veterans of the Rangers took advantage of some opportunities they were given.

“We always say when you do video with guys, they have to see something a thousand times before they get it,” said London assistant coach, Rick Steadman. “Some of these guys are at one time and some are at 500 times, so we’re just working our way through. Older guys can be tricky. You saw it. (The Rangers) were going round and round in the offensive zone and they made it hard for our young guys to keep up with them.”

The Knights had breakaway chances and other opportunities in tight, but came away with just one goal. At the other end of the ice, Kitchener made London pay when chances came their way.

“We made a couple of gaffes defensively where they got some goals early on us, but I thought we showed some pretty good composure and our new guys looked good,” observed Steadman.

The win was the second straight by Kitchener over London after a string of 14-consecutive victories by the Knights over the Rangers.

After Kitchener built a 3-1 lead to end the first period, London pushed back early in the second, only to be denied on three separate scoring opportunities by new Kitchener goaltender, Mario Culina, who made 20 stops in his first start for the Rangers. Joseph Raaymakers was back in the London net for his first appearance of 2018 following a brief injury rehab.

Life does not get easier for the Knights. The schedule coming off the OHL trade deadline is about as friendly as a junkyard dog who missed his last meal. From Midwest Division leading Kitchener, London moves on to host Eastern Conference leading Hamilton who bring more veteran savvy and a very emotional element as former captain Robert Thomas returns to play his first game for the Bulldogs against his former team.

“I think it is going to be emotional to start,” admitted Steadman on the return of Thomas. “The fans will love seeing him back and the guys will love seeing him… but then it’s just a hockey game.”

How the Goals were Scored

Logan Stanley opened the scoring with two goals that came 3:38 apart. The Jets prospect took a pass in the London end, wound up his 6’8 frame and slapped a puck off the post and in to make it 1-0. The Stanley snuck that large body off to the right side of the London net and converted a feed from Adam Liska to put the Rangers ahead by two.

Cole Tymkin put the Knights on the board at 10:53 as he snagged a puck just outside the Kitchener crease and slid it past new Ranger goalie, Mario Culina. Billy Moskal picked up the lone assist on the play for London.

Before the first period ended, the Rangers restored their two-goal advantage as Panthers’ prospect Adam Mascherin found Red Wings prospect, Givani Smith in front for his first in a Kitchener uniform and the Rangers led 3-1 through 20 minutes.

After a few close-calls at the Kitchener end of the ice to begin the second period, Adam Mascherin buried his 29th of the season as he set up for a one-timer from the right side of the Knight net for the only goal of the second period and a 4-1 Kitchener lead…

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The Knights will return home to take on the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday, January 12 at 7:30pm.  Tickets can be purchased in person at the Aluminum Associates London Knights Armoury, at the OMAC Mortgages London Knights Box Office, over the phone by calling 519-681-0800 EXT. 1, or by CLICKING HERE.

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