Final (OT): Rangers 4, Storm 3
Kitchener, ON: The Highway 7 rivalry saw another classic chapter unfold at The Aud on Friday night as the Guelph Storm (21-12-4-4) lost to the Rangers (18-20-3-0)4-3 in overtime on a goal by Riley Damiani, the game’s first star.
Joseph Garreffa earned three assists on the night, good enough for second-star honours and Luke Richardson had himself an outstanding night stopping 29 of 32 shots in the win.
FULL GAME REPORT
The Storm opened up the scoring in this rendition of the Highway 7 Rivarly. Liam Hawel, shortly after serving two minutes for a head-checking penalty, netted his 21st goal of the season on an assist from Sean Durzi to put Guelph up 1-0 at 10:07 of the first period.
The remaining half-period was a stalemate for both sides. Kitchener went into the intermission with a slight lead in shots, 11-9.
Guelph came out firing to start the second period. MacKenzie Entwhistle netted his 17th of the season on assists by Nick Suzuki and Isaac Ratcliffe and at 39 seconds of the middle frame, it was 2-0 for the visitors.
Domenico Commisso took a hooking penalty at 5:34 that gave the Rangers their second powerplay of the night. After a flurry of chances that could’ve seen the Rangers score, it was Jonathan Yantsis, on his 29th goal of the season, who broke the shutout for Nico Daws. The goal was assisted by Greg Meireles and Joseph Garreffa to bring the game to 2-1.
As the second period was winding down, and after a number of quality chances by the Rangers, Rickard Hugg, on an unassisted backhand shot, beat Daws for his 16th goal of the season to bring the game to parity, 2-2.
Heading into the second intermission, Kitchener was outshooting Guelph 25-22.
At 4:06 of the third period a Garreffa shot from between the middle-top of the circles ended up on the stick of Isaac Langdon. Langdon was in tight on Daws and capitalized on the opportunity to score his fourth goal of the season and give the Rangers their first lead of the game, 3-2.
Relentless pressure from the Storm late in the period paid off for the maroon and white when Markus Phillips, from behind Luke Richardson’s net, passed in front to Isaac Ratcliffe who scored his 27th of the season to make it 3-3.
The period would end in a deadlock and send the game to overtime with the Rangers leading in shots 34-32.
Just 13 seconds into overtime, Riley Damiani, on a breakaway, deked around Daws and buried his 15th of the season to give Kitchener the win 4-3.
The final shots were 35-32 for Kitchener.
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, January 13 at 2:00 pm versus the London Knights. The next road game for Kitchener is on Sunday, January 27 at 2:07 pm versus the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Tickets still available for all regular season home games. Purchase yours in person at the Activa Box Office at The Aud or Centre in the Square Box Office, by phone (519) 578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, or online.
Join the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RTown. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.
Click here to view the complete game summary.