Battles burn Knights

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

The coolest guy in the place was Jakub Kindl.

He'd just finished being chased all over the ice, run at by the London Knights, yelled at all night by most of the 9,090 in attendance at the John Labatt Centre.

He stepped out of the shower looking like he'd just gone for a walk in the park.

The Kitchener Rangers came into the JLC last night and defeated the Knights 4-1 in an Ontario Hockey League game. If you wanted to call it a hockey game. It was referred to as everything from a gong show to a circus.

The Knights' focus seemed to be on getting even with Kindl for his hit on Rob Drummond Feb. 20 that left the Knights captain with a concussion. Drummond hasn't played since.

By the time the Knights were done chasing Kindl, the Rangers had scored three power-play goals in the first period and it was lights out.

Someone did get even last night. It was the Plymouth Whalers, who defeated the Windsor Spitfires 6-3 to pull into a tie with the Knights for first place overall in the OHL.

Kindl didn't mind rubbing it in. He scored two power-play goals and hit two posts. He also did a combination fist-leg pump at the Knights' bench after he scored.

"It wasn't really a hockey game," Rangers coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think one team came to play hockey. The other team came to try and send some other messages. And I hope the league will deal with it. I've got a player sitting in the crowd for eight games I think for half the stuff that went on (last night.)"

That player would be Steve Downie who was suspended for eight games for, in part, bullying.

It didn't take long for the powder keg to ignite. Reprisal was in the cards. Knights Josh Beaulieu provided the spark and all hell broke loose.

With less than seven minutes gone in the first period, Beaulieu found himself next to Kindl just inside the Knights blueline. Beaulieu tried enticing Kindl to fight by crosschecking him and slashing him. Kindl wouldn't. They wound up near the penalty box in a pile with the linesmen Kevin Hastings and Glenn Andersen. Knights Jordan Foreman joined the festivities, trying to get at Kindl. The tussle continued with Kindl able to break away. Beaulieu kept trying to get to him, spinning a linesman.

Order was restored somewhat. Beaulieu was tossed with a minor, major for fighting, misconduct and game misconduct. Foreman got away with a minor and misconduct and Kindl was hit with a double minor.

"I guess they were still pissed about the hit in our building against one of their players who didn't finish the game," said Kindl. "It's all part of hockey. I kind of expected this, but I didn't expect it to be tough like that."

But the teams were just warming up.

At the 9:19 mark, Knights Todd Perry caught Rangers Victor Oreskovich with a knee. It earned him a major and game misconduct.

The Knights also lost defenceman Kevin Montgomery. He was helped off the ice and could put no weight on his leg.

With five minutes left in the period Knights David Jarram decided he wanted piece of Brian Soso . . . badly. The only problem was linesman Kevin Hastings was in his way. Jarram spun him around and shoved a hand against Hastings shoulder to get to Soso.

Jarram was handed a double minor, fighting major, misconduct and game misconduct.

Hunter said he didn't think anyone was trying to get even with Kindl.

"I didn't see that at all. It was just a hard fought game," he said.

OHL vice-president Ted Baker will have to order in some popcorn for later today, he'll be viewing at least a double feature when it comes to video review.

Through all this, the Knights spent most of the first period a man or two-men short.

By the time it was all done, the teams had taken 32 minors, eight majors, 11 misconducts and three game misconducts. Foreman had three of those misconducts.

The game also signalled the end of Knights Sergei Kostitsyn's 25-game point streak.

GAME GLANCE

Rangers 4, Knights 1

Kitchener goals: Jakub Kindl 2, Mike Duco, Matt Halischuk

London goal: Ryan Martinelli

Next: The Knights travel to Guelph tonight to take on the Storm at 7:30.


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