Erie, PA: Thursday night was the Rangers (8-10-2-2) first trip of the season to the Erie Insurance Arena to play the Otters (11-7-2-6) who came into the night in sixth place in the Western Conference.
It was a back-and-forth affair with the Rangers leading the game three times only for the Otters to come back each time.
By the time 60 minutes of hockey was played, Simon Motew scored his first OHL goal, while Declan McDonnell, Greg Meireles, and Ryan Stepien all added markers to send the game to overtime at 4-4.
Overtime saw no team break the deadlock and in the shootout, a lone goal by Hawel and three stops by Jacob Ingham was the difference as the Rangers came away with the 5-4 win.
Ingham stopped 32 in the win.
Kitchener opened up the scoring at 5:21 of the first period when Simon Motew (1) made a nice move around an Otters defenseman and wristed a shot by Aidan Campbell to make it 1-0.
Axel Bergkvist and Declan McDonnell earned assists on what was Motew’s first OHL goal.
Staying busy on the scoresheet, Motew took a tripping penalty at 7:48 to give the Otters their first powerplay of the night.
On the powerplay, a rebound off a Chad Yetman shot went out to Maxim Golod (11) who fired it past Jacob Ingham to make it 1-1 at 8:22.
At 14:20, another rookie got himself on the scoresheet. This time it was Declan McDonnell who scored on a quick snap shot off a won draw by Isaac Langdon to make it 2-1.
The period would end with Erie leading in shots, 8-6.
Kitchener extended their lead at 1:56 of the second period when a scrum in front of the net saw Francesco Pinelli shovel the puck out to Greg Meireles who shot into a fairly wide-open net to make it 3-1.
At 7:42, 14 seconds after Joseph Serpa took a hooking penalty, the combo of Yetman and Golod hooked up for a second time and Golod (12) netted his second and it was 3-2.
Erie evened up the score at 12:45 when a Jamie Drysdale pass down low to Noah Sedore (1) led to a tip in past the outstretched skate of Ingham. It was 3-3.
After 40 minutes, the Otters continued to lead in shots, 21-18.
The Rangers retook the lead at 3:16. Jessee Fishman forced an Otters turnover, passed it to Joseph Serpa who set up Ryan Stepien (5) down low for a goal and it was 4-3.
At 12:49, after sustained pressure in the Rangers’ end, Emmett Sproule squeezed the puck short-side between Ingham and the post and once again, the game was tied. 4-4.
At the end of regulation, shots were 32-26 in favour of the Otters.
Overtime solved nothing but did provide either team with quality chances to end it.
In the shootout, it was a lone goal by Hawel and three saves by Ingham that led the Rangers to a win, 5-4.
The next home game for the Rangers is this Friday, November 29 at 7:30 pm versus the Owen Sound Attack. The next road game is on Thursday, December 5 at 7:05 pm versus the Windsor Spitfires.
Tickets are available for all regular-season home games! Purchase yours in-person 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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