Kitchener Victory: Rookie goalie’s heroics evens Rangers-Knights series at 2-2
Rookie goalie’s heroics evens Rangers-Knights series at 2-2
There’s a new name etched in Kitchener Rangers playoff lore.
With starting netminder Paval Cajan out due to an illness, it fell on rookie backup Jackson Parsons to take over between the pipes.
He did more than enough, turning away 52 of the 54 shots he faced and backstopping the Rangers to a 3-2 win over the London Knights in the fourth game of their opening round playoff series.
After back-to-back losses to the Knights, the Rangers righted the ship early when winger Antonino Pugliese put his own rebound past London goalie Brett Brochu less than three minutes into the game. Neither team was able to convert on their remaining chances in the opening frame, leaving Pugilese’s tally the difference after 20 minutes.
The second period would be heavily tilted in London’s favour, as the Knights outshot Kitchener 21-7. Making his postseason debut, Parsons stood tall, stopping all but one shot in the frame.
Knights forward Max McCue beat Parsons with seven minutes left in the second, leaving the game tied heading into the final period.
Just past the five-minute mark of the third, Francesco Pinelli re-established the Rangers lead, while three minutes later Mitchell Martin added an insurance marker. A late London power-play marker brought the game within one, but Kitchener held on to take game four.
Cajan remains day-to-day with his illness, but if he is unable to play in game five Sunday, it appears the Rangers are in good shape with Parsons in net heading forward.
With the win, the best-of-seven series is now evened up at two games apiece, with the teams set to meet once again in London on Sunday before heading back to Kitchener for a potential elimination game on May 3.