Sean Durzi’s second goal of the game late in the second period broke open a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game winner, as the Owen Sound Attack (7-3-0-2) skated to a 5-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers (7-6-1-0) in front of 6,749 fans at The Aud on Friday night.
Nick McHugh and Connor Bunnaman were the goal scorers for the Rangers, who dropped their third straight game and now trail the Attack by one point in the Midwest Division. The Blueshirts slip from second to fifth in the western conference standings.
Zack Bowman (6-2-0-1) picked up the win in goal for the Attack, making 30 saves on 32 Rangers’ shots. Luke Richardson (1-5-1-0) suffered the loss, surrendering five goals despite making 38 saves.
McHugh gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the opening frame. His third of the season, from Greg Meireles and Adam Liška, came at 10:47.
The Attack would respond just moments later, however, with the teams playing 4-on-4 after coincidental slashing calls. Durzi notched his sixth of the campaign, unassisted, to make it a 1-1 game at 12:35.
The Rangers were 46 seconds into killing off a two-minute minor when a crowd gathered in front of the Kitchener goal and the puck eventually crossed the goal line. A scrum ensued behind the net with players from each side partnering off, leading to a plethora of penalties to follow.
There was a lengthy delay; not only to sort out penalties, but because of a discussion between referees and video goal judges overseeing the play. The alleged Owen Sound goal, over ten minutes later, was ultimately called back due to an Attack player using his hand to play the puck.
The game remained 1-1, but the Rangers ended up with an extra minor following the melee behind the net, so the home side would be forced to play for 1:14 with a two-man disadvantage.
Kitchener managed to kill it off successfully, and the teams skated into the first intermission maintaining a 1-1 tie. The Attack led the shot clock by a convincing 22-10 margin.
Owen Sound would strike again not long into the second period though, as Aidan Dudas put the visitors up 2-1, from Alan Lyszczarczyk and Cole Cameron, at 2:20.
Bunnaman would answer back for Kitchener notching his sixth of the season, from Adam Mascherin and Joseph Garreffa, a power play marker at 11:07 of the second period.
With under five minutes to play in the frame the Attack made it 3-2, Durzi scoring his second of the game from Mitchell Russell at 15:15.
Shots on goal through two periods of play favoured Owen Sound, 35-22.
The Attack broadened that 3-2 lead early into the third period, and again near the midway point of the frame.
Dudas with his second of the night made it 4-2 Owen Sound, from Marcus Phillips and Chase Campbell at 1:52, then Maxim Sushko extended the lead to 5-2 at 7:35, from Kevin Hancock and Durzi.
Final shots on goal were 43-32, Owen Sound.
The Rangers would finish the game 1-for-2 on the power play while the Attack went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Joseph Garreffa (KIT) (3), Aidan Dudas (OS) (2), and Sean Durzi (OS) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Jake Henderson each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Blueshirts are back in action Sunday afternoon, October 29th when they host the North Bay Battalion for the lone time this season at 2pm at The Aud.
Regular season tickets to all Kitchener Rangers home games are $23.00 each for adults, $19.00 for children 12 and under including HST, and are available in person or by calling the Activa Box Office at The Aud, from Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online.
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