Saginaw, MI.: The Rangers (17-18-3-0) visited the Spirit (23-11-2-2) for their fourth and final matchup of the season on Saturday night. The Spirit, powered by their new acquisitions, Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod, ended Kitchener’s four-game win streak with a 5-2 win.
Ryan Stepien and Riley Damiani were the goalscorers for the Rangers and Pfeil took the loss, stopping 22 of 26 shots.
FULL GAME REPORT
Saginaw opened up the scoring at 3:39 of the first period when their new acquisition from Mississauga, Ryan McLeod, fed Cole Coskey (21) a pass to Saginaw’s rightwing side that allowed him an easy tap-in past Lucas Pfeil to put the Rangers down early, 1-0.
The Spirit added to their lead at 7:41 and again it was McLeod’s passing that led to a goal. This time the Edmonton Oilers second-round draft pick found Albert Michnac who netted his 11th goal of the season to make it 2-0.
Besides a couple of penalties to both the Spirit and the Rangers, the action was limited during the second half of the period.
Saginaw outshot Kitchener in the first period 12-4.
At 9:57 of the second period, the Spirit’s other new acquisition, Owen Tippett, hooked up with the OHL’s second-best rookie scorer, Cole Perfetti, for his 16th goal of the season. Hayden Davis also had an assist on the goal, his second of the night, to extend their lead to 3-0.
The Rangers got themselves back into the game midway through the second when a save by Pfeil led to a rush the other way. Joseph Garreffa passed the puck by the lone Spirit defenseman onto the stick of Ryan Stepien, a former Spirit, and past Ivan Prosvetov for his fourth goal of the season to close the lead to 3-1.
Shots going into the third period were 20-12 for Saginaw.
The Rangers found themselves in another odd-man rush going into their offensive zone at 11:16 of the third period. Riley Damiani chose to keep the puck for himself and go over the shoulder of Prosvetov to net his 14th goal of the year and make it 3-2.
Saginaw quickly regained momentum, however, and 16 seconds later, at 11:32, Michnac scored his second of the game to restore the Spirit’s two-goal advantage, 4-2.
Owen Tippett, at 19:35, scored his first goal as a member of the Spirit and his 20th of the season on a Rangers empty net to seal the deal for the Spirit, 5-2.
The final shots on goal were 27-20 for Saginaw.
The Rangers next home game is on Friday, January 11 at 7:30 pm versus the Guelph Storm. The next road game for Kitchener is on Saturday, January 6 at 2:05 pm versus the Windsor Spitfire.
Tickets still available for all regular season home games. Purchase yours in person at the Activa Box Office at The Aud or Centre in the Square Box Office, by phone (519) 578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, or online.
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