The power play and goaltending were both perfect on Thursday night for the Owen Sound Attack.
The visiting Attack (39-15-1-2) went 3-for-3 with the man advantage and Michael McNiven earned his sixth shutout of the season as Owen Sound dropped the host Kitchener Rangers (31-23-2-2), 5-0, in front of a crowd of 6,739 at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
It was the third time this season the Rangers have been blanked on the scoresheet, but the second time they’ve fallen victim to being goose-egged by the Attack. They fell 3-0 to Owen Sound here at the Aud back on December 30th.
Not only were the Attack perfect on the power play they were also flawless on the penalty kill, allowing the Rangers just one opportunity with the man advantage and – as the shutout would indicate – denied any offence by the home side.
It was the 32nd win of the season for McNiven (32-9-1-2), who needed just 21 saves to earn the shutout.
Luke Richardson (6-2-0-0) took the loss in goal for the Rangers, despite making 30 saves.
For more than 40 minutes the game was nowhere near the blowout it was when the game’s final buzzer sounded. The Rangers trailed by just a slim 1-0 margin at the start of the third period of play, but surrendered two goals 28 seconds apart early in the frame, then a pair of power play goals in the game’s final five minutes.
The Attack opened the game’s scoring on their first power play opportunity of the night, as Kevin Hancock tallied his 27th goal of the season, from Jonah Gadjovich and Nick Suzuki to make it 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
The score would remain 1-0 until early in the third period when Matthew Struthers’ ninth goal of the season – a one-timer from the slot – made it 2-0 Owen Sound at 2:05 from Zachary Roberts and Aidan Dudas.
The Attack would strike again less than 30 seconds later, as Suzuki and Gadjovich teamed up for an odd-man rush with Suzuki finding the back of the net to make it a 3-0 game at 2:33 of the third.
Suzuki picked up his second goal of the night and third point, making it a 4-0 game with a power play marker from Petrus Palmu and Santino Centorame at 15:10.
Gadjovich’s 37th goal of the season – and third point of the night – rounded out the game’s scoring with another power play goal, this time from Hancock and Palmu at 18:35.
The Attack also led on the shot through each period, up 9-7 after the first, 11-8 in the second, and 15-6 in the third for a game total of 35-21.
Kitchener was 0-for-1 on the power play, while Owen Sound was 3-for-3 with the man advantage.
Michael McNiven (OS) (3), Jonah Gadjovich (OS) (2), and Nick Suzuki (OS) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Dylan Di Perna and Darby Llewellyn each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers captain Frank Hora.
The Blueshirts are back in action Saturday, February 25th when they make their lone trip of the season to Oshawa to take on the Generals for a 7:05pm start. The Rangers return home to face the Guelph Storm on Tuesday, February 28th at 7pm for Pevs Protects Night.
Regular season tickets to Kitchener Rangers home games are $22.50 each for adults, $18.50 for children 12 and under, including HST and are available in person or by calling the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Box Office or Centre in the Square (519) 578-1570 -or- 1-800-265-8977, or by purchasing online.