Special teams key in Rangers victory over Generals
The Kitchener Rangers (32-23-2-2) snapped a two-game losing skid during their lone visit of the season to Tribute Communities Centre, skating to a 4-1 win over the Oshawa Generals (34-19-3-2) in front of 5,889 fans in attendance on Saturday night.
Special teams was one of the key storylines to the Rangers victory, as they opened the game’s scoring with a shorthanded goal, added two more on the power play, and blanked the Generals on all five of their opportunities with the man advantage.
Luke Richardson was another integral reason for the Blueshirts picking up the two points, as the Barrie native was beaten just once on the night in the third period, stopping 36 of 37 shots he faced to improve his record to 7-2-0-0.
His counterpart Kyle Keyser (5-9-2-0) took the loss in goal for Oshawa, surrendering three goals on 25 Rangers shots.
Joseph Garreffa was impressive with a three-point night tallying a pair of goals and an assist, which included the game winning marker in the first period.
Adam Mascherin with a pair of assists and Darby Llewellyn with a goal and an assist also helped lead the way offensively for the visitors. Cole Carter registered the other Rangers goal.
Llewellyn gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with his team serving a minor for boarding, as the shorthanded marker was his 20th goal of the season, unassisted, just 2:46 into the game.
Inside the final five minutes of the period the Rangers would extend their lead to 2-0, this time a power play goal off the stick of Garreffa, who pounced on a Mascherin rebound for his 22nd of the season at 17:20 with the second assist to Dylan Di Perna.
Although trailing 2-0, the Generals led on the shot clock, 14-8, through the opening 20 minutes.
With 5:03 to play in the second period the Rangers would tally another power play marker, extending their lead to 3-0 on Cole Carter’s 12th of the season, assisted by Mascherin and Garreffa for the lone goal of the middle frame.
Shots on goal in the second period were 14-11 Oshawa for a two-period total of 28-19 Generals.
Richardson’s shutout bid was spoiled 6:26 into the third period, as rookie Allan McShane potted his 16th of the season, with the helpers to Sean Allen and Domenic Commisso.
The Generals would pull Keyser in favour of an extra attacker, but it was Garreffa who would capitalize, registering his second goal – and third point – of the night to give the Rangers the 4-1 lead, from Llewellyn, at 19:33.
Shots on goal in the third period of play were 9-7 Generals for a game total of 37-26, Oshawa.
Kitchener was 2-for-4 on the power play with a shorthanded goal, while Oshawa was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Allan McShane (OSH) (3), Adam Mascherin (KIT) (2), and Luke Richardson (OSH) (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 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.