Ottawa, ON: The Rangers (26-25-3-1) traveled north to face the OHL-leading 67’s (43-9-3-2) for the only time this season. Despite the Rangers coming back from 3-1 in the second period, the high-powered Ottawa team was too much to handle, beating Kitchener 6-3.
Greg Meireles, who is a native of Ottawa, scored two goals. Rickard Hugg, Joseph Garreffa and Riley Damiani each had two assists and Lucas Pfeil stopped 29 of 34 shots in the loss.
FULL GAME REPORT
Ottawa opened up the scoring at 6:32 of the first period. Tye Felhaber passed the puck down low to Marco Rossi who skated behind Lucas Pfeil’s net and made a backhanded pass in front to Austen Keating who deflected it into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
At 7:05, the Kody Clark took a roughing penalty that put the Rangers on the powerplay. On the ensuing man-advantage, some quick passing by the Rangers led to Riley Damiani finding Greg Meireles on Michael DiPietro’s left-side and Meireles, a native of Ottawa, wristed one home to tie the game up, 1-1.
Just 39-seconds later, the 67’s restored their one-goal lead when Keating, again from behind Pfeil’s net, found a streaking Noel Hofenmayer in front of the net and he buried it to make it 2-1.
23-seconds after the second goal, Ottawa scored their third. This time, Keating fired a shot on Pfeil that resulted in a big rebound onto the stick of Kyle Maksimovich who had a wide-open net in front of him to make it 3-1 for the home team.
The fast-paced period would end with the 67’s up in shots 14-11.
The second period featured a more relaxed rate of play with both teams registering just a handful of shots through 10 minutes.
Kitchener opened up the scoring in the middle frame when Damiani had an attempt on net that DiPietro kicked away with his right pad. The deflection ended going right to Joseph Garreffa who made good on hitting the open net in front of him and clawed the Rangers to within one, 3-2 at 11:47.
At 13:13, Meireles, on a pass from Rickard Hugg, rifled home his second goal of the game, short-side on DiPietro and Meireles’ 29th made it 3-3 in a period that until that point was dominated by the Rangers.
The period would end with Kitchener on a powerplay and ahead in shots 24-21.
Despite the period starting off in the Rangers favour, forcing DiPietro to make a couple of big saves early on, it was Ottawa who pulled in front. At 3:25, a shot from the blue line by Kevin Bahl was tipped by Keating who scored his second of the night to make it 4-3.
Ottawa extended their lead at 12:55 when Alec Belanger, from behind the net of Pfeil, rebounded the puck off Pfeil and in for his third goal of the season. 5-3.
With just 38 seconds left in the game and Pfeil on the bench for an extra attacker, Tye Felhaber scored an empty net goal for his 54th of the season to down the Rangers 6-3.
Ottawa outshot Kitchener 35-31
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 pm vs the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. The next road game for Kitchener is on Monday, February 18 at 2:00 pm vs the Kingston Frontenacs.
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.
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