Goaltender Franky Palazzese made 45 saves on Friday night as the Kitchener Rangers defeated the Peterborough Petes 4-3 in a shootout. Nick Czinder and Ben Thomson each scored and added an assist in the win, while Darby Llewellyn notched his sixth of the year for the Rangers.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when rookie Darby Llewellyn pounced on a rebound in front of Peterborough goaltender Andrew D’Agostini and found the back of the net. Eric Ming drew an assist on the play, firing the initial shot on goal. Defenceman Evan McEneny also recorded a helper on Llewellyn’s sixth of the season.
Kitchener extended its lead to two goals five minutes later. Nick Czinder forced turnover at the Petes blueline and moved the puck ahead to Ben Thomson. The veteran power forward was alone in front of the crease and slid the puck past D’Agostini for his eighth of the year. Czinder’s assist was his fourth point in two games.
Peterborough cut the deficit in half before the intermission, taking advantage of a late period power play opportunity. Jonatan Tanus fired a high, sharp angle shot over the shoulder of Rangers starter Franky Palazzese for his fifth of the year. Assists on the goal at 17:41 were credited to Derek Mathers and Brandon Devlin.
The Petes led shots on goal by a narrow 19-18 margin through 20 minutes.
Tanus’ second goal of the game pulled the Petes even at 2-2 early in the middle frame. The Finnish import’s sixth career tally came less than 90 seconds into the period and was assisted by overage centre Brett Findlay.
Peterborough out-shot Kitchener 16-11 in the second period.
The Petes took their first lead of the game with less than 10 minutes to play, scoring short-handed to jump ahead 3-2. Stephen Nosad sprung Stephen Pierog on a breakaway and the sophomore forward lifted the puck over a sprawling Kitchener defenceman and into the top corner of the net. The short-handed tally was the Petes’ first of the season and Pierog’s sixth goal of the year.
Czinder’s second goal in as many games levelled the scored at 3-3 with just over three minutes remaining on the clock, as the Rangers jumped on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. Seven seconds into the two-man advantage, the overage forward snapped a hard shot that rattled off the goal posts behind D’Agostini and into the net. His third of the season was assisted by Thomson and McEneny, the second point of the night for each skater.
Kitchener led shots on goal 18-12 in the third period, tying the Petes with 46 total shots through regulation.
Neither team scored in the overtime period, sending the contest into a shootout. The Rangers and Petes each fired two shots on goal in the extra frame, bringing their totals to 48 shots each.
Brent Pedersen, Keli Grant and Ming all scored for Kitchener in the shootout, lifting the Rangers to a 4-3 shootout victory. The win is the team’s second in a row and improves their overall record to 21-12-1-4.
1. KIT D. Llewellyn, (6) (E. Ming, E. McEneny), 10:35
1. KIT B. Thomson, (8) (N. Czinder), 15:35
1. PBO J. Tanus, (5) (D. Mathers, B. Devlin), 17:41 (PP)
2. PBO J. Tanus, (6) (B. Findlay), 1:27
3. PBO S. Pierog, (6) (S. Nosad), 10:25 (SH)
3. KIT N. Czinder, (3) (B. Thomson, E. McEneny), 16:39 (PP)
16 Brent Pedersen Goal
25 Keli Grant Goal
12 Eric Ming Goal
26 Alan Quine Goal
27 Brett Findlay No Goal
1. KIT – 32 Franky Palazzese
2. PBO – 30 Andrew D’Agostini
3. KIT – 7 Nick Czinder
The Rangers hit the road on Saturday, January 5 when they visit the London Knights at 7:00pm. The team returns to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, January 8 for a 7:00 meeting with the Guelph Storm. Tickets to Rangers home games are available by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, via the internet at www.centre-square.com or in person at the Centre In the Square Box Office or the Kitchener Auditorium Box Office.