It seems that the Knights under Coach Liboiron have taken a good step forward coming off of a playoff season last year. With a plus 500 record 1/4 of the way through the season the Knights optimism could never be higher. Twelve games in they are 6 – 5 – 1 and could arguably be even better. Surprising as that sounds when considering their history they seem to be a team that has talent, hard work and good chemistry. The addition of key players, Samuels, Mathieson, Chenier & Macdonald have really turned the kids from Whalley fortunes around. You can really feel the excitement in the rink for the home and away games as cheers seem to be much louder for every goal they score.
Last nights victory over the Ridge Meadows Flames was indicative of the excitement thats been generated. The game was touted as a top ranked Flames team taking on the upstart Knights team who had a number of wins over good teams early in the season. The Flames crashed the net early and produced. The Knights on the other hand had answers for every goal that the first place Flames scored. Mathieson and Thompson teamed up to answer the Flames first goal, then Iacutone, Foster & Samuels answered the Flames second goal! The Flames and Knights traded shots like an Ali / Foremen Boxing match through the middle portion of the game deadlocked at 2-2. Then shockingly the Knights scored the go ahead goal when Samuels danced around both defencemen fell to his knees ala Connor Mcdavid and buried the go ahead goal.
At this point it was 3-2 Knights and with less than 5 mins to go the Flames Jack Foster scored his second of the night and tied it up. The Flames were putting on full power pressure and Mason Upton looked like he was zoned into nearly every shot. He turned everything away at that point and even some in acrobatic fashion! He’s been playing very well for a while now and it really showed last night. It was 3 – 3 at this point and this reporter was thinking lets just get it to OT and get the point.
However, Samuels and Thompson had different thoughts and teamed up to put the Knights up 4-3!!!! The crowd burst out with a roar that hasn’t been heard much in the Knights Lair. Samuels seems to have the gift of scoring big goals this season and last nights game proved it once again. Kirit Sran salted the game away with an empty netter and a sigh of relief could be heard around the Knights fan base. In the end Samuels earned the first star nod over a stellar game from Upton who was chosen second star. Both were first stars in last nights game but I’m sure the Kids from Whalley would say that everyone pitched in to the well earned victory last night.