For the first time this post season – it was the “D-VO Show” at Budweiser Gardens.
The London Knight’s captain notched a hat trick along with an assist as the Knights took game one of the Western Conference Semifinal in a 6-3 win over the Kitchener Rangers.
“We’ve gotta have good discipline,” said Dvorak. “They have a very good power play and we had good discipline today and that’s why they only had one so we have to make sure we stay out of the box like we did today.”
In a tough divisional match up, the Knights did not seem phased by the fact that Kitchener breezed through their first round opponent – while London had its hands full dealing with Owen Sound.
It was also the Knights first win at home since beating the Attack in game one of their playoff bout. London’s top line combined for 11 points as Matt Tkachuk had four assists while Mitch Marner potted a goal and a pair of helpers.
After scoring only two goals in the six game series against Owen Sound, game one against Kitchener was a coming out party of sorts for Dvorak.
“It’s nice to score in the post season,” said Dvorak. “All three guys on our line can score, it doesn’t matter who it is. Today it was me, Sunday it’ll be someone else.”
Forward J.J. Piccinich also got a monkey of his own off his back after potting his first of the playoffs. The scrappy Leafs prospect was all over the ice in round one but that didn’t play out on the score sheet.
“It felt really good to get the first playoff goal but yeah I think everyone is making a difference,” said Piccinich.
“We’re really in playoff shape right now so I think we’re playing well.”
Piccinich didn’t stop short of complimenting his team. In a time where the Knights are missing Max Jones, and Dvorak didn’t exactly light it up in the first round – Piccinich points out that the whole team’s been able to rise to the occasion.
“We’ve been doing a great job, you know when D-Vo wasn’t scoring in the first round other guys were taking over and he finds three tonight and I don’t think he’ll be gripping his stick tight anymore.”
Tyler Parsons was sharp when he needed to be, making 20 saves including some big stops in the first giving him his fifth playoff win.
London can take a 2-game advantage with a win at home on Sunday.