The Kitchener Rangers (8-6-1-0) got themselves back into the win column on Sunday afternoon, and they did so, in large part, due to a pair of speedy goals and the stellar play of Luke Richardson.
Adam Mascherin and Riley Damiani scored two goals just nine seconds apart in the opening five minutes of the game as the Rangers held on for a 2-1 win over the North Bay Battalion (5-8-2-0) in front of 6,896 fans at The Aud.
Richardson (2-5-1-0) turned out what may very well have been his best performance of the season, turning aside 30 shots including a number of high-quality, North Bay chances to backstop the Blueshirts to the win.
One stop specifically, just over five minutes into the third period, was especially flashy, as Richardson dove back to his blocker side and denied a Battalion shooter with a goal-line, stick save.
The victory snaps a three-game winless streak for the Rangers, who see their home record improve to 3-3-1-0.
Julian Sime (1-5-2-0) was Richardson’s counterpart in the North Bay goal and was dealt the loss, allowing two goals on 37 shots.
Just over four minutes into game action Mascherin buried his seventh goal of the season, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead, from Kole Sherwood and Rickard Hugg, at 4:03.
Only nine seconds later it was a 2-0 game, as Damiani sped into the Battalion end after the ensuing faceoff and beat Sime, from Connor Bunnaman and Logan Stanley, at 4:12.
With the period winding down and the Rangers on the power play, it was the Battalion who found their way onto the scoresheet. Team scoring leader Justin Brazeau skated in on Richardson on a shorthanded break and cut the Kitchener lead to 2-1, unassisted, at 18:58.
Shots on goal during the first period of play favoured the Blueshirts, 12-11.
The remainder of the game would prove to be scoreless with Richardson continuing to shut the door, making nine saves in the second period and another eleven in the final frame, which included the final 1:16 of play when the Battalion pulled Sime in favour of an extra attacker.
Shots in the second period were 18-9 Kitchener, and 11-7 North Bay in the third.
Final shots on goal were 37-31, Kitchener.
The Rangers would finish the game 0-for-2 on the power play while the Battalion went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Riley Damiani (KIT) (3), Julian Sime (NB) (2), and Luke Richardson (KIT) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Jake Henderson each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
The Blueshirts engage in a midweek meeting with the Erie Otters at the Erie Insurance Arena for a 10:30am school day game on Wednesday, November 1st. They are back at home on Friday, November 3rd when they host the Guelph Storm 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.
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