Friday, October 9, 2015 - Submitted by Adam Piercy
There’s an old adage that goes “home is where the heart is.” But if you’re the Langley Knights, you’d sooner look into finding yourself a new heart, because following last night’s tough 4-2 loss to the Ridge Meadows Flames (3-4-0-1), the Knights have now dropped each of their first six contests at the George Preston Arena this season.
After outshooting the Knights 30-29 through two periods with the score at 2-1, the Flames put just five pucks on net in the third period, scoring twice (both by Nolan Ferguson, who notched his first career hattrick) to put them up 4-1. Langley managed to take advantage of Ridge Meadows’s league-worst penalty kill with a powerplay goal by Oliver Alcock midway through the third period to draw within two. The Knights peppered Flames netminder Jordan Hollett with 12 shots in the third, but managed only the one tally. The Knights have now lost eight games in a row (0-7-0-1), and currently sit at the bottom of the Harold Brittain Division with a record of 1-8-0-1.
Last night’s game was not without its bright spots, however. Jacob De Waal, younger brother of Levi, scored his first-ever PJHL goal midway through the second period in what was easily his best game of the season. Knights affiliate goaltender Wesley Ellingsen followed up his brilliant performance Sunday versus the 8-0 Grandview Steelers with another strong outing against the Flames, stopping 31 of 35 shots. With the Alcock goal, the Knights improved their powerplay to fifth in the league at an even 20%.
The Knights will also welcome back captain Dylan McCann along with defensemen Connor Petry and Jun Yi Zhong on Saturday when they take on the Port Moody Panthers, as both have completed their suspensions following the brawl against Mission City on September 24, which saw nine total suspensions, 263 penalty minutes, and a broken leg to Knights forward Jayden Gill, who will likely be out until December at the earliest. Brendan Campbell will also return to the lineup following a one-game suspension for his actions late in the third period against the Grandview Steelers on Sunday. There is no word yet on the status of Knights head coach John Craighead, who was also suspended for leaving the bench following the Mission City melee.
The Panthers have also seen their share of struggles this season – they won just their second game of the season last night in dramatic fashion as they defeated the Richmond Sockeyes in double-overtime.
Following Saturday’s tilt against Port Moody, the Knights next face the Delta Ice Hawks on Tuesday before returning home next Thursday for a rematch against the Panthers.