Just as the Kitchener Rangers badly outshot the Sarnia Sting on Friday, the Barrie Colts returned the favour Saturday night.
The Colts outshot the Rangers 42-18 and capitalized with two empty net goals in the last minute-and-a-half of play to hand Kitchener its first regulation loss of the season, 6-3, in front of 3,381 fans at the Barrie Molson Centre in Ontario Hockey League action.
The hefty number of shots strewn the Rangers’ (3-1-0-1) way made for a busy night for rookie netminder Chris McGonigle, who made 36 saves in his OHL debut.
His Barrie counterpart, David Ovsjannikov, was far less busy on the night, needing just 15 saves to earn the win and to effectively snap the Colts’ (3-2-1-0) three game losing skid.
The Rangers lost more than just the two points, however, as the team saw both Greg Meireles (first period) and Cedric Schiemenz (third period) leave the game due to injury.
Jake Henderson opened the scoring, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 6:34 of the first period. Henderson used a pretty pass from Jacob Cascagnette to bury a backhand from the blue paint in front of Ovsjannikov, with Darby Llewellyn picking up the second assist.
Things turned chippy in the second half of the period, and after a pair of scrums following subsequent whistles the teams found themselves playing 4-on-4 hockey in the final five minutes of the frame.
After an additional call to the Rangers just over 30 seconds later, the Colts would take a 4-on-3 man advantage for 1:26. With 11 seconds left in the 4-on-3 Cordell James would tie the game for the Colts, 1-1, from Lucas Chiodo and Tom Hedberg, at 18:33.
Just 49 seconds later Roy Radke would give Barrie a 2-1 lead at 19:22, from Jason Willms and Zachary Magwood, to close out first period scoring.
Shots in the opening 20 minutes weighed heavily in Barrie’s favour by a 21-7 margin.
The Rangers got the start they wanted to the second period, as Joseph Garreffa was the beneficiary of a Rangers 3-on-1 odd man rush to score his first of the season making it 2-2, from Llewellyn and Henderson, at 3:12.
Just past the midway point of the period the Colts captain gave his team back the lead, 3-2, as James scored his second of the night, from Chiodo and Anthony Stefano, at 11:30.
Radke’s second of the game gave the Colts a two-goal lead, 4-2, from Cameron Lizotte and Justin Murray at 17:57.
The Rangers mustered just three shots on goal in the second period, and trailed 30-10 on the shot clock through 40 minutes.
Jeremy Bracco cut the Barrie lead to 4-3 with a shorthanded goal at 3:43 of the third, but that was as close as the Rangers would come as the Colts would bury two empty net goals at 18:30 and 19:31 for the 6-3 final.
Shots were 12-8 Barrie in the final frame.
Kitchener was 0-for-3 on the power play, while Barrie was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
With three successful penalty kills, Heffner Lexus Toyota graciously donates another $30 to the Heffner Lexus Toyota PK Tally for a running total this season of $210 in support of Sun Life Financial Kids In Gear.
Chiodo (BAR) (3), Radke (BAR) (2), and James (BAR) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Llewellyn, Di Perna, and Bracco each wore “A’s” and skated as alternate captains for the Rangers.
They wrap up the long weekend of three games in four days back at the Aud when they clash with their Highway 7 rivals, the Guelph Storm, for the first time this season on Monday, October 10. Puck drop on Thanksgiving Monday is 2pm.
Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation with them to Monday’s game to help the Food Bank of Waterloo Region feed those in need in our community.
Regular season tickets are $22.50 each for adults, $18.50 for children 12 and under, including HST and are available now 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.