Knights lose another nailbiter in OT

Knights setting up for a Powerplay Foto vun RBIHTV

13 November 2023

Another Saturday, another OT loss at home. What should have been an easy win turned into an ugly loss after Knights twice were up by 4 goals in the game and allowed the guests from Charleroi back into the game.
But it started all well and according to plan. The instructions from the coach were clear: play loose, take many shots and be disciplined (meaning stay out of the penalty box). And the Knights answered the call. At least they did the first 20 minutes.
Just under two minutes into the game, Sacha Backes found Mirko Mosr all alone in the slot who took an easy wrister to beat the goalie far side for the 1-0. Six minutes later, it was Artemij Frizel that took one of his laser beam shots to beat the goalie. Then the first line starting clicking when captain Claude Mossong made the stretch pass to David Shorty Müller who didn't fail to snipe it under the bar. Youngster Szymon Mazurek scored on a nice feed from Benny Welter and the Knights took a commanding 4-0 lead. But it wasn't going to last. Just 25 seconds later, the guests from Charleroi opened their scoring and seemed to have life.
But there was no panick going into the intermission. The Knights had not taken a penalty in the game yet, had a 3 goal cushion and the better legs and speed.
But as if a switch had been turned, the young hosts in green thought: how can we make this game interesting for our 300-400 fans in the stands? Ah, we know: let's take some penalties. With both Frizel and Dino Mededovic in the box, the guys in white from Charleroi beat veteran goaltender Michel Welter twice to bring the guests back to within a goal. Fortunately, within three minutes a penalty shot goal by Müller, then another stretch pass by Mossong and the hattrick by Müller and then Frizel with his second of the night on a pass by Backes and the fans chants got louder. A commanding 7-3 lead at the half point of the game. Surely enough, costly turnovers and untimely mistakes by the young Knights defense seemed to play into Charleroi's hands and they managed to squeak a couple more goals past Welter, one with just seconds left in the period. 7-5, twenty minutes to go. Let's see how the Knights fare in the final period. 
Just like in the first and second period, the men in armor came out flying and Backes scored his first of the night followed by the second hattrick of the night, this time Frizel completing his, thirty seconds after getting the assist on Backes' goal. 4-goal lead restored with fifteen minutes left in the game, surely this lead was putting the game away?
Nope, more penalty trouble and with first line centerman Benny Welter out for the game after a heavy collision into the end boards in the latter part of the second period, the Knights became vulnerable, again. The guests from the French speaking part of Belgium would score 4 unanswered goals in the third period, the last one cashing in on an unfortunate too many men penalty after a miscommunication on the bench between two of the youngest defensemen with just 59 seconds remaining to be played in the game.
And yes, you guessed correctly: the game was yet again headed to overtime. But unlike the game against Heist a week prior where the Belgian guests scored within seconds of OT, this one was even worse. After Backes hit the post (the third or fourth ring of the pipes in the game) in an overtime where all fans held their breath at times and you could hear the roars as the Knights went on a rush, the Knights and their fans endured the same anticlimactic ending than the week before. This time with just 4.6 seconds on the clock when the Charleroi player dangled his way around the 3 knights and beat Welter just under the crossbar to send the Beaufort Knights to their fourth loss in five Belgian league games, a catastrophic start to the season.
With two more games in the upcoming week - hosting the Hurricanes U20 in the LHL on Tuesday night and then hosting the Young Chiefs from Leuven on Saturday (both games starting at 19:30) - the Knights still haven't had much time to practice and it shows. Let's hope they can find their bearing and at least fight their way back into the upper half of the league standings.