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.
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.
Antonio 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.
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.