Knights' power zapped

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

The London Knights do not play in an impenetrable castle.

The high-flying Knights also do not have an unstoppable power-play.

And they wake up today clinging to first place in the OHL's Western Conference by a single point over Kitchener.

Those are the harsh realities after Kitchener's David Lomas tipped home a power-play overtime winner with 10.4 seconds left to give the Rangers a controversial 2-1 victory over the Knights before 9,090 fans last night at the John Labatt Centre.

The winning tally came after an unpopular high-sticking penalty and misconduct to London forward Jordan Foreman, who went after big Kitchener defenceman Boris Valabik seconds after being mugged in the slot by Rangers blue-liner Jakub Kindl.

It was the only power-play goal of the game -- London went 0-for-11 with the man advantage, while Kitchener, which has won nine games in a row, finished 1-for-8.

"It's unfortunate that they scored on that power play," London head coach Dale Hunter said. "When it comes down to it, we were beaten on a call. It's tough because a few shifts earlier, (Foreman) was punched in the face and bleeding."

It was only London's fourth loss on home ice this season and their first non-shootout defeat since dropping a 4-3 decision to Owen Sound Sept. 30. Lomas's timely tip busted the Knights' 14-game home winning streak.

The Rangers defence put pins to David Bolland's 19-game point streak and Rob Schremp's 16-gamer.

"They played better than we did. You can't just expect to win at home -- you have to go out every night and prove it," Foreman said. "We have more skill than they do, but we have to match their intensity.

"It was too bad that I let my emotions get the better of me and it ended up hurting the team."

The Knights wouldn't hear any of that kind of talk from Foreman, who scored the team's only goal on a short-handed effort. He was a physical force all night and constantly mixed it up with Valabik, who is eight inches taller. The two antagonizers actually fought in last year's Western Conference final.

"Jordan was our best player out there and we need more guys to play with the kind of heart that he did," London goalie Adam Dennis said.

Kitchener, meanwhile, broke a 10-game losing streak in London dating back to its 4-2 win on Jan. 18, 2003. For Lomas, it ended an even longer string of futility at the JLC.

"It's exciting to finally get one because my last three seasons ended here against (London)," said Lomas, who came to Kitchener in a trade from Windsor this year. "I think the last time I won here, (former Spitfire and current Toronto Maple Leaf) Kyle Wellwood scored the winner in overtime."

Don Cherry, who was in town yesterday for a speaking engagement with the London Home Builders' Association, was introduced to a loud ovation before the game and the former Mississauga owner presented his ex-IceDog star Rob Schremp with the OHL player of the week award.

"Five goals and 10 points in three games," Grapes said. "Next year -- the Edmonton Oilers."

London captain Dylan Hunter, who missed the last half of Sunday's 7-2 win in Mississauga with a tweaked knee, won't remember his 300th OHL game fondly. The Knights' offence was shut down by Kitchener, who has only surrendered more than three goals once since October. That was London's 4-3 overtime win here Jan. 8 when Hunter bagged the winner.

Kitchener goalie Dan Turple, who was shaken up on a shot during warm-up, looked uncomfortable at times in the crease, but the Knights couldn't capitalize on a mere 15 shots in the first two periods.

"We weren't happy with the way we were playing early in the game," Foreman said. "We knew he (Turple) was hurting a little bit and we didn't get nearly enough chances against him. He hung in there and you have to give him credit for that."

Kitchener star forward Evan McGrath, who was held pointless, is on pace to become the first Ranger to crack the 100-point mark since London native Trevor Gallant did it in 1993-94

GAME GLANCE

Rangers 2, Knights 1 (OT)

Kitchener goals: Cory Konecny and David Lomas with the overtime winner, with 10.4 seconds left

London goal: Jordan Foreman

Next: London faces Plymouth tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre, then heads to Kitchener on Sunday night for a 7 p.m. faceoff at the Aud.


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