Rookie decides marathon

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Adam Hasani's mom Danielle and brother James are in London visiting the Knights rookie forward from Freibourg, Switzerland, for two weeks.

Last night, Hasani gave his guests a major thrill and ended a shootout stalemate that threatened to last for nearly two weeks.

Hasani, a 17-year-old winger who speaks French, German and some English, beat Kitchener goalie John Murray through the legs on the 11th round and the 22nd shot of an entertaining shootout to lead the Knights to a 5-4 victory over the Rangers before 9,057 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

"I didn't expect (to get to shoot)," Hasani said. "I was nervous. I tried five-hole. It's a thrill. I hope my family sees me (score his first OHL goal in regulation while they're here)."

London's Sam Gagner kept the breakaway contest alive after Kitchener forward Matt Halischuk, the only shooter who had Knights goalie Steve Mason's number with four regulation goals, added the lone shootout tally for the Rangers. After Gagner's marker, Kitchener missed eight in a row while the Knights were shut down on seven straight chances before Hasani's heroics.

"You just try to hang in there and hope you can keep stopping them until your team scores," Mason said. "They (Kitchener) missed a few (five Rangers shooters failed to get a shot off). It took longer than normal, but it's got to be a nice for Adam with his family visiting to get the winner."

Some will wonder why a shootout was necessary at all after London's hustling Jordan Foreman, who left the game briefly in the second period with a wrist injury, scored what appeared to be the short-handed winner with 21.5 seconds left in the third period when Murray mishandled a loose puck in the corner.

The slippery puck took a wild bounce, rolled along the goal line and went in as Foreman slid into the crease and dislodged the net. The ruling, which went to video review, was that Foreman had kicked the puck across the line.

"I took a swing at it and I didn't see it, but it felt like it hit my pant leg as I fell," Foreman said. "I just saw the puck squirt out of the corner, take a weird bounce and I went to the net hard. I had a chance in the shootout and missed, but the important thing is we won."

Oh yes, and he says his wrist is fine.

The Knights have won eight of their first nine games after Hasani's shootout goal put a damper on one of the most impressive single-game performances by a visiting player in the five-year history of the JLC.

Kitchener's Halischuk, an 18-year-old from Mississauga who played for Toronto last year, doubled his scoring output for the season with four goals -- two in a 20-second span at the end of the first period and the start of the second and two more in the third period to send the game to overtime.

"It was just one of those games where I was getting some bounces around the net and Pete (head coach Peter DeBoer) gave me some extra ice," Halischuk said. "We battled hard to come back. We didn't give up in the third period."

The Knights exploded for four second-period goals in a 10-minute span -- with three on the power play and another on a delayed penalty -- but failed to convert a couple of power-play chances to put the game away early in the third period when the score was 4-2.

London's David Meckler scored his team's first two goals, marking his fifth two-goal effort in the past seven games. He was again denied the hat trick and missed on his shootout attempt.

As it turned out, he wasn't alone.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 5, Rangers 4 (SO)

(London wins shootout 2-1)

London goals: David Meckler (2), Adam Perry, Sam Gagner

Kitchener goals: Matt Halischuk (4),

Next: London plays its seventh home contest in its first 10 games on Friday against the Owen Sound Attack at 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.


Videos

Photos