Knights mastery snapped
Kole Sherwood helps Rangers end long losing streak to his former team
KITCHENER — It was going to happen eventually.
The Kitchener Rangers finally got a gorilla off their back, defeating the Knights 4-2 on Tuesday night to snap a 14-game Ontario Hockey League losing streak to London. It was the first Rangers win between the rivals since Dec. 29, 2015.
The teams were tied 2-2 going into the third period in a game that had it’s nasty elements. The winner came at 7:14 off the stick of Kole Sherwood, the former Knight’s second goal of the game. He wound up with a hat trick.
It was on a power play after Knights Adrian Carbonara took a tripping penalty. As he was going to touch the puck he slapped it the length of the ice into the empty net and earned an unsportsmanlike penalty.
Sherwood added an insurance goal late in the third.
It was a struggle for both teams at times. The Knights had trouble defending in their own zone in the first period, coming out trailing 2-1. The second period the Rangers gave them a lot of help by not being able to stay out of the penalty box.
Despite the loss, you don’t need to watch the Knights play to know how much of a difference place they are in now than they were a month ago.
All you have to do is watch them off the ice — how loose they are, how they are having more fun and how much better suited they are to accept whatever happens on the ice.
That’s the difference between the team that came into the Kitchener Auditorium in October struggling with an 1-8-1-0 start to the team that beat the Rangers for the 14th time in succession that night, is 6-1-1-0 over its last eight games prior to Tuesday.
“Once you lose eight or nine in a row it’s pretty hard to get out Rangers 4, Knights 2 Kitchener goals: Kole Sherwood 3, Adam Liska,
London goals: Alex Formenton 2 Next: The Knights are home to Guelph on Thursday, 7 p.m. of,” Knights centre Cliff Pu said. “Anyone who has been a part of a losing streak like that knows that everything seems to go the wrong way. Once you get that one win, everyone starts being a little more loose.
“Once you get loose you have a little fun and just remember to play your game and not worry too much about losing. You just focus on your game and everything will take care of itself. All the guys are having fun and hopefully we can continue to do that.”
Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter said belief in what you are doing is compounded when you win.
“It’s such a game of confidence,” he said. “When you are losing, once you miss a couple of opportunities you are grabbing your stick a little tighter, not playing the right way. You have to believe in the system. You tweak your system towards what makes your guys more successful; to see what they respond to. You are trying to stimulate them.”