So, the London Knights incredible 24-game winning streak comes to an end.
The Sarnia Sting halted the run with a 6-5 overtime win last night. London came within one game of tying the OHL mark of 25 set by the Kitchener Rangers in 1983-84. That was in pre-shootout days and the Rangers only lost one of those games in overtime.
The Knights has three overtime and two shootout wins in their streak.
Over at the world junior championships, it was Kitchener goalie John Gibson blanking teammate Radek Faksa and his Czech buddies 7-0. That means Gibson will face coach Steve Spott and the Canadians in the semifinals tomorrow.
And members of the Kitchener Rangers are split on who to cheer for.
Tobias Rieder (Germany) and Faksa still have seeding games left to play but should be done Friday. Saturday's game against London will be a toss up, depending on what kind of flights they can get out of Russia.
The Troy Smith led Team Ontario improved to 2-0-0-1 at the World U-17 Challenge with an 11-1 win over Atlantic Canada. The lads play Quebec today.
As for the Rangers, it's another date with Owen Sound tonight. Kitchener holds a 2-1 series lead against the Attack so far this season.
Darby Llewellyn-Domenic Alberga-Eric Ming
Ben Thomson-Matia Marcantuoni-Nick Czinder
Brent Pedersen-Josh Sterk-Justin Bailey
Keli Grant-Curtis Meighan-Matt Schmalz
Ben Fanelli-Evan McEneny
Jared Gilbert-Max Iafrate
Cory Genovese-Owen Stewart
Franky Palazzese starts (6-5-1-4)
Kyle Hope-Dan Catenacci-Cam Brace
Joe Blandisi-Gemel Smith-Zach Nastasiuk
Dan Zweep-Holden Cook-Kurtis Gabriel
Devon Rymarchuk-Gilbert Gabor-Alex Annecchiarico
Keevin Cutting-Brayden Rose
Chris Bigras-Nathan Chiarlitti
Kurtis MacDermid-Jake Dotchin
Brandon Hope (8-2-0-0) starts.
- Forward Keli Grant is on a Jr. B card but every game that he's played since the Kitchener Rangers lost players to the world juniors don't count toward his total. At 10 games, the team has to decide to send him back to the Dutchmen or put him on an OHL card. Right now, he's considered a fill-in for WJC players and has four OHL counting games under his belt.
- Just to clarify, forward Matt Puempel has injured another part of his shoulder. The team has him listed as day to day and has no idea where the rumours are coming from that say he will need season ending surgery.
- The team isn't expecting Radek Faksa or Tobias Rieder back from the world juniors for Saturday's game in London.
- If Ben Fanelli is auditioning for next year's captaincy, the job is his. Since Ryan Murphy's absence, he has taken his game up a notch. He was a difference maker yet again tonight with a goal and an assist.
- Even before the goal, forward Nick Czinder was making an impact with aggressive forechecking and hard hits.
- Hometown fans should really catch a roadie. That's two hard working games in a row now for the Rangers. The Aud faithful are long overdue for an entertaining game on East Ave.
- Matia Marcantuoni had a wide open breakaway shorthanded but did one too many dekes, lost the puck and didn't get a shot off. Then he took a penalty in frustration. Credit the Rangers PK for killing off a 5-on-3.
- Nice to see Franky Palazzese get some offensive help for a change. He picked up his seventh win on the season.
JB's top three Rangers: Ben Fanelli, Franky Palazzese, Nick Czinder