The Kitchener Rangers have one of the best records in the Ontario Hockey League, and they might just have the best line, too.
Brandon Robinson, Ryan MacInnis and Adam Mascherin combined for two goals and four assists as the Kitchener Rangers earned their sixth straight win, a 4-1 decision over the visiting Peterborough Petes in front of 6,840 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.
Robinson, MacInnis and Mascherin have been dynamic to start each of their respective seasons, and are making it seem like there’s no simpler decision for Mike Van Ryn but to play them together. Between the three, they’re on a combined 20-game point streak (four games for Robinson, five for MacInnis and eleven for Mascherin) and have collectively produced 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points – and that’s only counting the points they’ve picked up while on their active streaks.
For Mascherin and Robinson, of course, that streak encompasses each of their entire regular seasons. As for MacInnis, he’s picked up points in every game but two to start the season.
Van Ryn said post-game there was room for improvement where his team is concerned, but that he was happy with the continued production he’s received from tonight’s first line.
“MacInnis showed he had chemistry with Mascherin early on, and then we knew from last year that Robinson and MacInnis have always clicked,” Van Ryn said. “Things got a little sloppy out there at times tonight, but since they’ve been reunited they’ve been working real hard and have been an effective line for us.”
The win improves the Rangers record to 8-0-3-0 as they remain one of just two undefeated teams in the OHL in regulation, alongside the Erie Otters. The Otters earned one point tonight in an overtime loss to the Kingston Frontenacs, so with 19 points, the Rangers and Otters are tied with the highest point total in the standings of the 20-team league.
The loss drops the Petes record to 5-4-1-2, and snaps a three-game point streak for the club.
Dawson Carty (3-0-1-0) started his fourth game of the season and picked up the win, stopping 23 of 24 shots he faced. Matthew Mancina (2-3-0-1) took the loss for the Petes, allowing three goals on 31 shots.
For the tenth time in 11 games this season the Rangers opened the scoring, this time by Jacob Cascagnette, his second of the season at 3:04 of the first period from Mark Bzowey and Joseph Garreffa. The assist was Bzowey’s first point of the season, and Garreffa’s first career OHL point.
Carty made an incredible sprawling save at the 13:39 mark of the period to keep it 1-0, but with Peterborough headed to the power play a minute later they would eventually capitalize with a Greg Betzold goal, assisted by Hunter Garlent and Eric Cornel at 15:13.
With the first period looking poised to end in a stalemate it was MacInnis who gave the Rangers another one-goal lead, this time with just ten seconds left on the clock, from Mascherin and Robinson.
Shots were 12-10 in favour of the Petes after the first 20 minutes.
The line of Robinson, MacInnis and Mascherin continued its effectiveness in the second period as Robinson notched his fourth goal in as many games since returning to the Rangers lineup – a power play goal – at 5:57 of the second period. Robinson finished off a pretty passing play with a perfect tip in the slot to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead, with both MacInnis and Mascherin picking up an assist apiece on the play.
Petes defenceman Cameron Lizotte was given a five minute major penalty for a check to the head after a hit on Rangers Nick McHugh, blindsiding the winger. McHugh skated off the ice without assistance, but did not return for the third period.
The second period would come to an end with the Rangers dominating the shot clock 16-5 in the frame, and outshooting the Petes 26-17 after 40 minutes.
The lone goal of the third period came with 1:11 remaining when Frank Hora scored shorthanded, unassisted and into the empty net to solidify the 4-1 Rangers win. Final shots were 32-24 in favour of the Rangers.
The Petes finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Rangers capitalized once in five opportunities with the man advantage.
MacInnis, Hora, and Brian Brosnan each wore ‘A’s and skated as assistant captains for the game.
Mason Kohn (3), MacInnis (2) and Robinson (1) were chosen as the Three Stars of the game.
The Rangers are back in action Sunday, October 25th when they host the Saginaw Spirit at The Aud at 2pm.
Tickets for the Rangers next home game are available online at kitchenerrangers.com, by calling Centre in the Square, or through The Aud Box Office.