The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds seem to have a knack for pulling off improbable, last second victories over the Kitchener Rangers.
Conor Timmins scored the game winning goal off a draw in the Rangers end – with the Hounds shorthanded – with less than a second left to play in regulation as the hosts skated to a 3-2 win over the Blueshirts in front of a crowd of 4,722 at the Essar Centre in Game 1 on Friday night.
The Greyhounds lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0, with Game 2 scheduled for tomorrow night, Saturday, April 21 at 7:07pm at the Essar Centre.
Tickets to Games 3 and 4 in Kitchener are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online, in person or by calling Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or at the Activa Box Office at The Aud during regular business hours.
More details regarding purchase options are listed below.
It isn’t the first time this season the Greyhounds grew the ire of Rangers Nation with late game larceny, as Keeghan Howdeshell scored with 2.9 seconds remaining in a 3-3 game at The Aud on December 15.
The game winning goal by Timmins in Game 1 was the first time the Greyhounds led on the night, as the Rangers opened the scoring with a power play goal from Connor Bunnaman in the first period.
The Hounds evened things up at 1-1 before the period was out, but on their second power play opportunity they went 2-for-2 on the man advantage as Givani Smith gave the visitors a 2-1 edge at 8:03 of the middle frame.
The Rangers managed to maintain that lead for just four minutes, however, as Timmin’s first of the night tied the game, 2-2, as it would stay until his second goal of the night proved to be a buzzer beater to seal the Soo win.
Matthew Villalta picked up the win in goal for Sault Ste. Marie, surrendering a pair of goals on 20 shots.
Sault native Mario Culina made a number of quality saves on the night; 29 in total while allowing three but was saddled with the loss.
Bunnaman’s game-opening goal was a power play marker, assisted by Kole Sherwood and Adam Mascherin, at 10:29 of the first period.
Jack Kopacka evened things up, 1-1, with a power play goal for his team, from Tim Gettinger and Rasmus Sandin, at 16:50.
Smith’s power play marker at 8:03 was assisted by Mascherin and Sherwood, while Timmins’ game-tying goal was assisted by Sandin and Boris Katchouk.
Taylor Raddysh and Morgan Frost earned the helpers on the game winner.
Shots favoured the Soo throughout the night; 10-6 after one, 21-15 after two and 32-20 at the end of regulation.
The Rangers were 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Greyhounds were 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
Connor Bunnaman (KIT) (3), Jack Kopacka (SSM) (2), and Conor Timmins (SSM) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Logan Brown each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
Tickets to all Kitchener Rangers home playoff games for Round 3 are $28.00 each for adults, $24.00 for children 12 and under including HST. Tickets to Games 3 and 4 are available in person at the Activa Box Office at The Aud, in person or by calling Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online here.
Fans can also find more information about playoff tickets here.
Join in the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RaiseTheShield and #OHLPlayoffs. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.
Western Conference Final
(1) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds vs. (2) Kitchener Rangers
Sault Ste. Marie leads series 1-0
Game 1 – Friday, April 20: Kitchener Rangers 2 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3
Game 2 – Saturday, April 21: Kitchener Rangers at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – 7:07pm
Game 3 – Monday, April 23: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at Kitchener Rangers – 7pm
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 25: Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds at Kitchener Rangers – 7pm
*Game 5 – Friday, April 27: Kitchener Rangers at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – 7:07pm
*Game 6 – Sunday, April 29: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at Kitchener Rangers – 2pm
*Game 7 – Monday, April 30: Kitchener Rangers at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – 7:07pm
Western Conference Semi-Final
(2) Kitchener Rangers vs. (3) Sarnia Sting
Kitchener leads series 3-2
Game 1 – Friday, April 6: Sarnia Sting 2 at Kitchener Rangers 4
Game 2 – Sunday, April 8: Sarnia Sting 3 at Kitchener Rangers 2 OT
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 10: Kitchener Rangers 1 at Sarnia Sting 4
Game 4 – Thursday, April 12: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Sarnia Sting 3
Game 5 – Friday, April 13: Sarnia Sting 2 at Kitchener Rangers 3 OT
Game 6 – Sunday, April 15: Kitchener Rangers 6 at Sarnia Sting 2
Western Conference Quarter-Final
(2) Kitchener Rangers vs. (7) Guelph Storm
Kitchener wins series 4-2
Game 1 – Friday, March 23: Guelph Storm 2 at Kitchener Rangers 7
Game 2 – Sunday, March 25: Guelph Storm 1 at Kitchener Rangers 2
Game 3 – Tuesday, March 27: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Guelph Storm 7
Game 4 – Wednesday, March 28: Kitchener Rangers 4 at Guelph Storm 6
Game 5 – Friday, March 30: Guelph Storm 2 at Kitchener Rangers 10
Game 6 – Sunday, April 1: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Guelph Storm 2