Logan Brown’s four-point game put him into the 200+ career regular season points club as the Kitchener Rangers (40-18-2-0) defeated the Sarnia Sting (42-15-4-0), 6-3, in front of 6,696 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday night.
The Rangers reach the 40-win mark for the second time in three years, tallying a total of 44 wins in the 2015-16 season.
Brown scored twice and added a pair of assists for his fourth four-point game in 28 games this season.
Kole Sherwood did his part with a pair of goals and an assist, while Rickard Hugg scored what would prove to be the game winner in the third period. Connor Bunnaman was the other goal scorer for the Rangers, potting an empty net goal with just 4.9 seconds left to play.
Mario Culina (14-8-2-0) got back in the win column with a fantastic effort, making a number of in-tight, quality saves; 35 of 38 in total on the night.
Justin Fazio (33-10-3-0) suffered his 10th loss of the season, allowing five goals on 26 shots. The last time he gave up five or more goals was on February 17 (7 GA) in a 7-1 loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
In the early going, a legitimate first period scoring chance for the Rangers was foiled, then turned into an opportunity for the visitors who cashed in to take a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jonathan Ang. Franco Sproviero and Nick Grima picked up the assists on the goal at 4:39.
The Rangers would respond just over a minute later to tie the game, 1-1, as Sherwood got the home side on the board, assisted by Brown, at 5:48.
Sherwood’s second of the game put the Rangers up, 2-1, at 8:42 from Givani Smith and Giovanni Vallati.
Kitchener was dealt back-to-back penalties in the latter half of the opening frame and killed off the first before finally being beaten on the second, as Hugo Leufvenius, from Jordan Ernst and Adam Ruzicka, made it a 2-2 game at 15:39.
But once again the Rangers responded quickly, as Brown scored his 19th of the season a mere ten seconds later, restoring the lead for the Blueshirts, 3-2, to close out a busy first period of play.
Shots in the opening frame favoured Kitchener, 9-8.
After a scoreless second period the floodgates of goals once again opened in the third, starting with Hugg scoring his fifth goal of the season, from Adam Liška and Kyle Gentles at 6:09 to give the Rangers their first two-goal lead of the night, 4-2.
Under a minute-and-a-half later the Sting answered with a goal by Ruzicka, from Jordan Kyrou and Anthony Salinitri to cut Kitchener’s lead to 4-3 at 7:24.
Brown’s second goal of the game came at 18:18, giving the Rangers a 5-3 lead with Smith earning the lone assist.
Bunnaman rounded out the game’s scoring, notching his 24th of the season into the empty net to secure the 6-3 win, from Brown and Sherwood.
Final shots on goal favoured Sarnia, 38-27.
The Rangers were 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Sting were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Jonathan Ang (SAR) (3), Mario Culina (KIT) (2), and Logan Brown (KIT) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Connor Hall each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Rangers play their fourth straight home game on Friday, March 2 when they play host to the Oshawa Generals at 7:30pm. They take to the road to face the Guelph Storm on Sunday, March 4 at 2pm to round out weekend action. (Please note: The game time for Sunday in Guelph was previously 6pm, but the start time was changed and approved by the league earlier this season to 2pm.)
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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