Kitchener, ON: The West Division-leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (38-13-6-1) visited the Rangers (28-26-3-1) in what ended up being a gritty battle at The Aud that the blueshirts won 4-3.
Garreffa, a night after logging his 200th-straight OHL game played, notched his 200th career OHL point finishing with one goal and one assist. Richard Hugg also registered a goal and an assist and Jonathan Yantsis scored his 40th goal of the season in the win.
Luke Richardson stopped 24 of 27 Greyhounds shots.
The win meant Kitchener jumped Owen Sound in the Western Conference standings and are now in 5th place with 10 games remaining.
FULL GAME REPORT
The game began with two quick penalties to the Greyhounds. Just 24 seconds in, Morgan Frost took a cross-checking penalty and then, at 1:45, Holden Wale took a delay of game penalty to give the Rangers a 5-on-3 for 40 seconds.
Despite some quality chances on net, the blueshirts couldn’t capitalize on the two-man advantage and the game remained tied at zeros.
The deadlock was broken at 10:08 when Joseph Garreffa danced around a sprawling Matthew Villalta and buried his 22nd goal of the season to make it 1-0.
Reid Valade and Michael Vukojevic earned assists on the opening goal.
At 16:21, Jaden Peca took a hooking penalty in the Greyhounds’ defensive zone that gave Kitchener their third powerplay of the night.
On the ensuing powerplay, Garreffa and Rickard Hugg found Greg Meireles who danced around two Sault defenders between the hash marks and wristed home his 30th goal of the season to make it 2-0.
The period would end with the Greyhounds up in shots, 13-10.
At 2:08 of the middle frame, the Greyhounds’ Ryan Roth, after a pass from Joe Carroll, had his shot on Luke Richardson produce a big rebound that went right back to him and on the second chance, the right winger scored to make it 2-1.
The Sault tied it up at 11:41 when a puck passed from behind Richardson’s right to Keeghan Howdeshell who uncorked a shot past the Rangers netminder to make it 2-2.
Jaromir Pytlik and Mac Hollowell earned assists on Howdeshell’s 39th goal.
The period would end with Sault Ste. Marie slightly ahead in shots 25-24.
Just 19-seconds into the third period, Pytlik, on a pass from Frost, wristed his seventh goal of the season past Richardson to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the game, 3-2.
At 7:05, Meireles was battling for the puck behind the net and cleared it to Yantsis who beat Villalta short-side to tie it up, 3-3.
Valade earned his second assist of the night on Yantsis’ 40th goal of the season.
Michael Vukojevic and Zack Trott each took cross-checking penalties at 8:07 which meant it was 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes.
During the penalty, Riley Damiani shot from the top of faceoff circle on Villalta’s left side and the Rangers captain, Hugg, tipped the puck into the back of the net and the home team retook the lead, 4-3.
Justin MacPherson picked up an assist on Hugg’s 28th.
The game would end with the Rangers besting the Greyhounds in shots, 36-27.
The Rangers next home game is on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 pm versus the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The next road game for Kitchener is on Wednesday, February 27 at 11:00 am versus the Mississauga Steelheads.
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.