The Kitchener Rangers (12-10-2-2) picked-up their 12th win of the year and a season-high fifth in a row after defeating the Oshawa Generals (16-9-0-2) 6-4 at The Aud on Friday night.
Despite having just played 24 hours earlier, the Rangers came out the more energized of the two squads and went out front 3-0 after just six minutes into the game.
Ryan Stepien (6) opened the scoring at 1:38 on a second-chance opportunity to the right of Oshawa starting goaltender Zachary Paputsakis. Greg Meireles and Michael Vukojevic picked-up the assists on the opening tally.
After killing-off an Oshawa power-play (due to Arber Xhekaj’s instigator penalty from a fight with Daniel Walker), Jonathan Yantsis was sprung on a partial breakaway coming out of the box after serving the infraction. His initial shot was stopped but he slammed home the rebound to make it 2-0 at the 4:40 mark.
Axel Bergkvist and Lucas Pfeil got the assists.
Reid Valade made it 3-0 just 1:36 after that, with help from Ville Ottavainen and Vukojevic (2).
The next 9:24 though saw the Generals come all the way back to tie the game at 3-3 thanks to a pair of goals from captain Kyle MacLean that book-ended one from Nico Gross.
Kitchener had its two-goal lead restored at the midpoint of the second period when Riley Damiani (11) beat Paputsakis with a quick wrist shot from just inside the face-off dot. Vukojevic picked up the lone assist.
Yantsis notched his second goal of the game on the power-play at 16:05, after pushing a puck rolling through the crease into the back of the net. Stepien and Ottavainen (2) got credit for the assists.
Despite a William Ennis short-handed goal late in the third period to get the Generals back within one, Greg Meireles secured the victory with an empty-netter. The goal was even more significant because, with his fourth assist of the night, Vukojevic set a new career-high for points in a game.
The Rangers will head to Owen Sound on Saturday night to complete their “three games in three days” weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm.
Kitchener’s next home game is the 25th Teddy Bear Toss on Tuesday December 10th against the London Knights. Game time is 7pm.
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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