Kitchener, ON: The Rangers (38-16-5-2) played a tight contest against the Barrie Colts (28-27-4-2) but ended up falling 6-4.
Francesco Pinelli led the way with three assists. Goalscorers for the Rangers were Declan McDonnell, Mike Petizian, Arber Xhekaj, and Jonathan Yantsis.
Lucas Pfeil made 27 saves in the loss.
The Blueshirts opened up the scoring on Friday night while on the power-play. Francesco Pinelli passed the puck to Serron Noel behind the net who found Declan McDonnell (20) in front. The right-winger fired a shot past Jet Greaves to make it 1-0 at 5:00.
With 1:11 left in the first period, the Colts got the equalizer. Tyson Foerster broke into the Rangers defensive zone and passed into the centre of the ice to a streaking Evan Vierling (14) who beat his defenseman and went over the blocker-side shoulder of Lucas Pfeil to tie it up 1-1.
Shots after the first period were 10-7 in favour of the Rangers.
The Colts scored at 1:05 of the second period when a defensive zone turnover led to a long pass to mid-ice for Aiden Brown (20) who got himself on a breakaway and scored five-hole to make it 2-1.
Minutes later, at 2:34, the Colts extended their lead when a shot from distance by couldn’t be corralled by Pfeil and Ethan Cardwell (22) tapped in the loose puck from the side of the crease and it was 3-1.
The Rangers got one back at 4:41 when Pinelli passed to Mike Petizian (21) who fired a shot on net from the slot that was blocked before he collected his own rebound and made good on the second chance to make it 3-2.
Donovan Sebrango also earned an assist on the goal.
At 8:15, during four-on-four play, a shot on net by Pinelli resulted in a rebound the went out to Arber Xhekaj (6) who scored to tie it up 3-3.
The second assist went to Axel Bergkvist.
Barrie regained the lead at 18:59 when a shot from the face-off dot by Anthony Tabak (11) beat Pfeil glove-side and it was 4-3.
Shots after 40 minutes of hockey were 24-21 for the Colts.
Liam Hawel took a tripping penalty at 9:18 and, on the ensuing power-play, at 9:31, Nathan Allensen made a backhand pass cross-ice to Tyson Foerster (35) who clapped a one-timer past Pfeil to extend the Colts lead to two, 5-3.
At 16:57, the Rangers evened it up during some four-on-four play. A shot on net by Bergkvist was tipped in by Jonathan Yantsis (38) and that made it 5-4.
Riley Damiani also earned an assist on the goal.
At 18:51, Foerster (15) picked up his second goal of the game on an empty Rangers net to seal it for the Colts, 6-4.
Final shots on goal were 33-31 for Barrie.
The next Rangers home game is Friday March 13th at 7:30 pm versus the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Their next road game is Sunday March 8th at 2:05 pm versus the Windsor Spitfires. That game will broadcast nationally on Sportsnet.
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