Mascherin reaches 40 goal milestone in win over Spirit
Adam Mascherin joined the 40-goal club for the first time in his Ontario Hockey League career as the Kitchener Rangers (43-20-2-0) defeated the Saginaw Spirit (29-28-8-0), 3-2, in front of 6,901 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Sunday afternoon.
It was the first time a member of the Rangers reached the 40-goal milestone since Tobias Rieder scored 42 goals in the 2011-12 season.
Mascherin finished the game with a goal and an assist in what could potentially be a first round playoff match-up between the Rangers and Spirit, depending how the final three games of the regular season play out.
Statistically, the Rangers could meet any of the Spirit, Spitfires or Storm in the opening round. The Spitfires (6) and Spirit (7) and remain tied at 66 points after both endured losses this afternoon; the Spitfires in sixth with one more win. The Storm, with 65 points, were idle. Each of the three teams have three games remaining.
Austin McEneny and Joseph Garreffa were the other goal scorers for the Rangers, who wrap up the regular season with two mid-week road games in Guelph on Tuesday and Saginaw on Wednesday before hosting the Storm here on Friday night.
Luke Richardson (23-11-1-0) earned the win in goal, turning aside all but two of the Spirit’s 34 shots.
Cameron Lamour (5-6-1-0) took the loss, surrendering three goals on 25 shots he faced.
Cole Coskey gave the Spirit a 1-0 lead at the 4:40 mark of the first period, assisted by Jake Goldowski.
It was the lone goal of the opening frame, which saw the Spirit outshoot the Rangers, 9-8.
In the second period the tables turned in Kitchener’s favour, as the Blueshirts got themselves on the board with an unassisted goal by McEneny, his sixth of the season, at 5:53 to make it 1-1.
Just over a minute later Mascherin’s 40th – also unassisted – put the Rangers in front for the first time on the afternoon, 2-1, at 6:57.
Through 40 minutes of play it was the Rangers who commanded the shot clock, 21-15.
Garreffa tallied his 12th of the season at 3:32 of the third period to extend Kitchener’s lead to 3-1, from Mascherin and Jack York.
Former Ranger Mason Kohn cut the Saginaw deficit to just one, making it a 3-2 game with 4:34 remaining, but it was as close as the Spirit would come despite pulling Lamour with 2:55 to play, then being awarded a man advantage with 42 seconds left.
The Spirit outshot the Rangers 19-4 in the final 20 minutes for a game total of 34-25.
The Rangers were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Spirit were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Mason Kohn (SAG) (3), Michael Vukojevic (KIT) (2), and Adam Mascherin (KIT) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Kole Sherwood, Adam Mascherin, and Connor Hall each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Rangers head on the road for midweek games against the Guelph Storm on Tuesday, March 13 at 7pm and Wednesday, March 14 vs. the Sarnia Sting at 7:05pm.
Kitchener’s final home game doubles as their last regular season game, as they host the Guelph Storm on Friday, March 16 at 7:30pm for Fan Appreciation Night.
Regular season tickets to all Kitchener Rangers home games are $23.00 each for adults, $19.00 for children 12 and under including HST, and are available in person or by calling the Activa Box Office at The Aud, from Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online here.
Join in the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RaiseTheShield. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.