Shootout shutout ended

RYAN PYETTE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

KITCHENER -- If you listen, you can learn a lot sitting in the penalty box during overtime.

Just ask Adam Perry.

Shortly after hearing the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium had gone 62 OHL games without a shootout, the veteran London forward went out and bagged his first goal in the tiebreaker to give the Knights a 4-3 victory over the rival Rangers before a sellout crowd of 6,164 last night.

"There was about 10 seconds left (in his untimely hooking penalty) and the (attendant) told me they never had a shootout in this building before," Perry said. "I couldn't believe it. It was nice to finally get one. It was my third or fourth attempt (this year). I was going to go backhand but he (Kitchener goalie John Murray) didn't give me anything so I tried something else and the puck went in (through his legs)."

London goalie Steve Mason, who stopped 43 shots in regulation and overtime, turned aside four of five shooters for his seventh shootout victory this season -- including a marathon 11-rounder over the Rangers on Oct. 15 in London.

"It helps to have seen a bunch of them before and Steve Downie, I watched during the world juniors go through the legs, and thought he would try to go five-hole on me," Mason said. "We all watch videotape of guys' moves so you kind of know what to expect."

London, which improved to 23-4 on the road, has won six straight games to move eight points ahead of Kitchener.

The Knights played their third straight game without star rookie forward Sam Gagner, who is suffering lingering effects from a check into the boards by Erie's Patrick Lee last Sunday. Lee was handed an eight-game suspension for the infraction.

"It was a big game and it's great to see the boys come out and play, especially with Sam out," Perry said. "They're a great team and we're fighting for first place. We know we have to beat them to get there so this was a big two points."

Kitchener didn't like star defenceman Jakub Kindl being ejected in the second period for a head checking major on London's Robbie Drummond, who didn't return after banging his head on the boards but said he plans to visit a doctor today.

"Jak's like six-foot-three so I don't know about a head check there and I got a boarding penalty early and it was probably the first check I threw all year," Kitchener captain Peter Tsimikalis said. "It's a game we felt we could've won and we know we can play and beat them if it comes to a playoff series. Their goalie (Mason) gives you a different look because he catches right-handed. I probably should've tried something different on my attempt."

Like almost every London-Kitchener battle in the past four years, there was plenty of emotion, physical play and blatant one-upmanship -- even after the buzzer when Cambridge native Jordan Foreman waved to fans and pumped his fists after the Knights' victory.

A rare catalyst -- London forward Sergei Kostitsyn -- ignited fireworks late in the first period when he hopped off the bench a little early on a change and put his shoulder into unsuspecting Kitchener forward Steve Downie. The jolt disengaged the volatile Canadian world junior star's visor from his helmet and left him writhing on the ice, which compelled Kindl -- another unlikely combatant -- to go after Kostitsyn.

London was assessed a too- many-men penalty on the play but it was negated when Downie, back from helmet repairs and obviously anxious to make the Knights pay for the transgression, forgot to do up his chin strap before returning to the ice. He was whistled for illegal equipment and David Meckler scored on the ensuing power play to give the Knights the early lead.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 4, Rangers 3 (SO)

London wins shootout 2-1

London goals: David Meckler, Sergei Kostitsyn, Justin Taylor

Kitchener goals: Steve Downie, Victor Oreskovich, Kevin Henderson

Next: London faces the streaking Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Friday at the John Labatt Centre. Game time has been changed to 7 p.m. to accommodate Rogers Sportsnet.

Playoff tickets: Tickets for rounds one and two went on sale yesterday at the Knight souvenir shop, the John Labatt Centre box office, by phone at (519) 681-0800 or online at www.londonknights.com. Prices for Round 1 are $17 (adult), $15.50 (student and senior) and $14.50 (child). For Round 2, it's $19.50 (adult), $18 (student and senior) and $17 (child).


Videos

Photos