Final: Rangers 7, Attack 4
Owen Sound, ON.: The Rangers (22-22-3-0) visited their northern rivals, the Attack (23-21-2-2), for the fifth time since the winter break. Kitchener scored early and often in what ended up being a 7-4 victory for the Rangers who sit just three points behind fifth-place Owen Sound with a game in hand.
Jonathan Yantsis scored his 35th and 36th goals of the season and added an assist while Riley Damiani scored his 17th and 18th along with two assists to solidify the win for the Rangers.
FULL GAME REPORT
It was the newly minted Rangers captain, Rickard Hugg, who opened up scoring for the visitors on an assist by Riley Damiani. Hugg’s 19th goal of the season put Kitchener ahead 1-0 at 7:59.
At 15:30, the team goal-leader Jonathan Yantsis netted his 35th of the season after a couple of pokes at the puck in tight on the Attack’s goaltender, Mack Guzda. Greg Meireles picked up an assist on the goal to make it 2-0.
The goal ensured his point-streak was extended to eight games.
Just prior to the first period coming to an end, the Attack clawed back and got a goal of their own. Owen Kirwin scored his 12th with just 18 seconds left and that made it 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes.
Shots on goal favoured the Rangers, 12-7.
Just 1:34 into the second period, a rather innocuous shot by Mike Petizian that never left the ice found it’s way past a screen Guzda to restore Kitchener’s two-goal advantage. Kyle Gentles earned an assist on Petizian’s fourth to make it 3-1.
Three minutes into the period, Jackson Doherty took a minor penalty for slashing. On the ensuing powerplay, Yantsis, on an assist by Meireles, buried his second goal of the night to make it 4-1. Joseph Garreffa picked up an assist as did Luke Richardson.
Owen Sound’s penalty troubles in the second period continued when Trenton Borque took a checking from behind penalty and at 5:37, Damiani scored his 17th of the season on assists by Garreffa and Luke Richardson to make it 5-1.
It was Ryan Stepien who got in on the action next. The Hamilton native scored his sixth of the season with the help of Hugg and Damiani and the Rangers extended their lead to 6-1.
The action in the second period wasn’t done there. Yantsis and Petizian hooked up with Damiani who also earned his second goal of the night. 7-1.
Owen Sound chipped into the six-goal lead at 15:03 when Sergey Popov scored his second goal of the year to make it 7-2.
The Attack weren’t done there. Zach Poirier, from the side of the net, found a way to get the puck past Richardson to bring the Rangers lead to four, 7-3.
The period would end with Kitchener ahead in shots 23-22.
The only action in the third period came on a Maksim Sushko goal, his 11th, at 13:08.
Richardson stopped 15 of 16 shots to have a strong finish on the night. Overall, the Rangers netminder stopped 34 of 38 shots.
Kitchener mustered 29 shots in the win.
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, February 1 at 7:30 pm versus the Owen Sound Attack. The next road game for Kitchener is on Saturday, February 12 at 7:00 pm versus the London Knights.
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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