Attack stifle Rangers en route to decisive road win
It was a game the Kitchener Rangers couldn’t seem to get into on Friday night at the Aud.
The Owen Sound Attack (14-11-1-0) took a 4-0 lead in the second period and never really found themselves challenged, as they skated to a 6-2 win over the Rangers (15-8-0-1) in front of 6,951 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Michael McNiven earned his 12th win of the season (12-5-1-0), needing just 16 saves as Owen Sound limited the Rangers to only 18 shots on goal on the night – including just three in the second period.
Luke Opilka (2-2-0-0) was shackled with the loss despite coming up with 33 saves on 38 shots, all in just 40 minutes of work. Luke Richardson took over the crease to start the third and stopped 11 of 12 shots strewn his way.
The Rangers dropped just their third game in regulation on home ice (9-3-0-1), while the Attack picked up their seventh road win of the season (7-9-0-0).
Riley Damiani and Adam Mascherin were the goal scorers for the Rangers, as Mascherin kept his season-long streak of registering points on home ice afloat with his goal in the third period.
The lone assist on Mascherin’s goal went to Jeremy Bracco, who now finds himself with a season-long 21-game point streak worth 44 points (16G, 28A).
The Attack opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game, as Petrus Palmu tallied his 17th of the season from Ethan Szypula to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at 4:54.
Matt Schmalz with his fourth of the season made it 2-0 Owen Sound, from Markus Phillips and Sean Durzi at 14:25.
The Attack weren’t done there, as Palmu added his second of the game before the period was out, a power play goal from Suzuki and Santino Centorame at 19:51, to send the game into the first intermission with Owen Sound leading 3-0. Shots on goal in the first period of play were 21-7 in favour of the visitors.
Just over four minutes into the second period the Attack struck again, this time a goal from Suzuki, to give Owen Sound a 4-0 lead from Kevin Hancock and Matthew Struthers at 4:07.
It was just past the midway point of the period when the Rangers managed to get on the board, as Riley Damiani scored in his second straight game to make it 4-1, from Elijah Roberts and Connor Bunnaman at 11:06.
Another late period goal quelled any momentum that could have been brought into the intermission, as Jonah Gadjovich restored the four-goal lead for the Attack, making it 5-1 from Hancock and Sean Durzi with 43 seconds to play in the second.
The Rangers were held to just three shots on goal in the middle frame, as Owen Sound outshot the Blueshirts 17-3 in the second and 38-10 total after 40 minutes.
After Richardson came out to start the third period it was Kitchener who struck first in the final stanza, as Mascherin notched his 16th goal of the season to make it 5-2. Bracco picked up the lone assist at 6:45 on the power play.
The Attack staved off the Rangers for the rest of the period, then added another to cushion their lead as Suzuki tallied his second of the night and third point of the game to make it 6-2, from Palmu and Centorame, at 18:20.
Final shots on goal were 50-18 Owen Sound, including 12-8 for the visitors in the third period.
Kitchener was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Owen Sound was 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
With one successful penalty kill, Heffner Lexus Toyota graciously donates another $10 to the Heffner Lexus Toyota PK Tally for a running total this season of $800 in support of Sun Life Financial Kids in Gear.
Centorame (OS) (3), Suzuki (OS) (2), and Palmu (OS) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Dylan Di Perna and Darby Llewellyn each wore “A’s” and skated as alternates to Rangers captain Frank Hora.
The Rangers wrap up the weekend when they travel to Saginaw tomorrow to face off against the Spirit tomorrow night for a 7:05pm puck drop.
Regular season tickets to Kitchener Rangers home games are $22.50 each for adults, $18.50 for children 12 and under, including HST and are available in person or by calling the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Box Office or Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online.