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Rangers endure downward spiral through second game of northern swing

 

“They outclassed us, outworked us, and outscored us. They’re a good hockey club. They played very well. We played like crap.”

Frustration wasn’t reserved for players only, as head coach Jay McKee blatantly voiced his displeasure over his team’s outing on Friday night; an 8-2 drubbing of the Kitchener Rangers (15-8-2-0) at the hands the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (19-3-2-0) in front of 3,892 fans at the Essar Centre.

The Greyhounds boasted five players with three or more points on the night; Waterloo native Boris Katchouk leading the way with two goals and two assists. Morgan Frost tallied a goal and three assists, while Joe Carroll and Ryan Roth each notched a pair of goals and an assist.

Kole Sherwood and Cole Carter were the goal scorers for the CHL Top-10’s 7th ranked Rangers, who provided the 3rd ranked Greyhounds their 10th straight victory.

McKee was clearly irritated by the effort from his team as he spoke with Chris Pope during the 570 News Post-Game Show.

“We were terrible defensively,” stated McKee. “We’re going to have to learn a lesson from this.

“The first game we played here this season [Oct. 13, 3-2 Greyhounds win] was right down to the wire. Tonight was an opportunity for one of these teams to make a statement, and they certainly did. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re going to have a sit down after our skate tomorrow in Sudbury and look at areas for improvement.

“Bottom line, I hope it’s a humbling experience for our guys.”

Luke Richardson (8-6-1-0) returned to the Rangers goal after Chris McGonigle got the start last night in North Bay, but his numbers certainly took a hit. The Barrie native took the loss, surrendering six goals on 20 shots through 40 minutes before McGonigle came on to start the third period. McGonigle faced eight shots in the final frame, allowing a pair.

Matthew Villalta (15-2-1-0) needed just 19 saves to earn his 40th career OHL win between the pipes for the Greyhounds, allowing two.

In the early going, the Rangers were awarded the gift of a two minute, 5-on-3 man advantage just 2:51 into the game, but the Greyhounds successfully killed it off with the Rangers able to muster only a small number of chances.

It was the Greyhounds who eventually built off the momentum and opened the scoring, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Carroll – his first OHL goal – assisted by Hayden Verbeek and Mac Hollowell, at 7:06.

Ten minutes later it was Sherwood with his ninth goal of the season who got the Rangers on the board, making it a 1-1 game after a great pass from behind the net from Adam Mascherin. Connor Bunnaman picked up the secondary assist on the goal at 17:09.

The game wasn’t tied for long though, as Roth restored the lead for the Greyhounds just 22 seconds after Sherwood’s goal, putting the Soo up 2-1 from Katchouk and Frost at 17:31.

That would round out first period scoring, which saw the Greyhounds also lead the shot clock, 11-10.

Roth buried his second of the night under five minutes into the middle frame, giving the Hounds a 3-1 lead on the power play, from Hollowell and Rasmus Sandin at 4:36.

The Rangers would answer back on a bit of a mental lapse by the hosts just moments later as Carter was left all alone in front of Villalta and cut the Soo lead to 3-2, from Connor Hall and Greg Meireles at 6:08.

But the Greyhounds would pile it on during the second half of the second period, adding three straight goals and adding a bigger cushion to their lead.

They made it 4-2 on a Katchouk goal at 10:42, from Frost and Conor Timmins, then just 25 seconds later extended the lead to 5-2 on Carroll’s second goal of the night, from Tim Gettinger and Verbeek, at 11:07.

In the final minute of the second period Gettinger would fool Richardson to make it 6-2 Soo, from Carroll and Timmins, at 19:13.

Shots on goal through 40 minutes of play were 20-15, Greyhounds.

McGonigle came on in relief of Richardson in the Kitchener goal to start the third period of play, but it wouldn’t stop the bleeding as the Soo grew their lead to 7-2 on Katchouk’s second goal of the night, from Frost and Roth, at 10:39 of the third period.

Frost added another for the home side while on the power play, making it an 8-2 game at 15:25 as the puck deflected in front of the Rangers goal past McGonigle, assisted by Timmins and Katchouk.

Joseph Garreffa managed to take the puck into the Greyhounds end and beat Villalta, but the goal was disallowed due to the play being offside.

Final shots on goal favoured the Hounds, 28-21.

The Rangers were 0-for-2 on the power play while the Greyhounds were 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

Joe Carroll (SSM) (3), Boris Katchouk (SSM) (2), and Ryan Roth (SSM) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.

Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Kole Sherwood each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.

The Rangers close out the weekend on Sunday, November 26 when they visit the Sudbury Wolves for a 2pm start.

They’ll play their fourth straight road game in Owen Sound against the Attack at the Bayshore on Wednesday, November 29 at 7pm before finally returning home to The Aud to host the Attack on Friday, December 1 at 7:30pm.

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.

Join in the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RaiseTheShield. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.

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