You don’t have to lead for long to win a hockey game.
Denver Barkey’s goal with exactly 32 seconds remaining in regulation time gave the London Knights a 5-4 win over the Kitchener Rangers on Wednesday night at Budweiser Gardens.
Easton Cowan knocked a clearing attempt out of the air and got the puck back to Barkey and he turned and shot it at the Ranger net through some traffic and in it went.
The Knights found themselves down two goals on three separate occasions in the game and twice managed to battle back to within one, but could not get the equalizer until Will Nicholl slid a puck under Kitchener goalie Marco Costantini for his first Ontario Hockey League goal in his first OHL game.
That happened four minutes and 10 seconds into the third period and the score stayed that way until the final minute when Barkey, Cowan and Logan Mailloux combined on the game winner.
Isaiah George closed the gap to 4-3 with a brilliant individual effort just 1:37 before the end of the second period.
Sean McGurn recorded his 10th point in three games for the Knights when Ryan Winterton banked a puck off McGurn’s skate on a short-handed rush in the first period.
Max McCue had the other London goal on a nice fake pass and a backhand flick that hit the back of the Ranger net with 55 seconds to go in the first period.
Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip Mesar scored twice for Kitchener.
Zach Bowen made 31 saves for his 11th consecutive victory in the Knight net.
Costantini stopped 33 pucks at the Kitchener end of the ice.
London goalie Brett Brochu did not dress for the game. He is listed as out day-to-day with a lower body injury suffered in the second period of a game against the Flint Firebirds on Feb. 6.
The Windsor Spitfires defeated the Firebirds 9-3 in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday night. Londoner Brett Harrison had two goals and three assists for Windsor.
London remains one point back of the Spitfires for first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand.
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The Class of 2023
Dan Maloney, Rick Green and Dennis Wideman are officially members of the Don Brankley London Knights Hall of Fame as the class of 2023.
The three former Knights and National Hockey Leaguers were enshrined on Wednesday, Feb. 8 before the London Knights played the Kitchener Rangers at Budweiser Gardens.
Between the three of them they played 404 games with London and then went on to rack up 23 combined seasons in the National Hockey League.
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Nicholl makes Knights debut
Will Nicholl has been impressing the London Knights without wearing a Knights uniform.
London selected Nicholl in the 3rd round of the 2022 OHL Priority Selection out of the Ottawa Senators U18 AAA side that he led in scoring in thr 2021-22 season as a 15-year old. Nicholl played one game for the Knights in the pre-season and then went to the St. Thomas Stars of the Greater Ontario junior Hockey League.
Nicholl leads them in scoring to this point in the season with 16 goals and 56 points in 36 games.
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The Knights will play their fifth game in eight days at home to the Erie Otters on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.
The game will be the final one between the teams in the regular season.
The Otters won the first game between the teams. London has won all four games since then.
The Knights defeated Erie on the road on Feb. 4 when Logan Mailloux recorded a natural hat trick that he finished with a “Michigan”.
Coverage begins at 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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