St. Catharines, ON: The IceDogs (15-15-4-1) and Rangers (21-11-3-2) played a wild game on Saturday night that eventually led to the IceDogs winning 7-6 in overtime.
Jonathan Yantsis scored a hat trick, Greg Meireles scored a goal and two assists, and Riley Damiani earned three assists in the loss.
Lucas Pfeil saved 17 shots.
Niagara opened up the scoring at 4:18 of the first period. A Rangers turnover in their own end led to Oliver Castleman, from behind Lucas Pfeil’s net, passing into the slot to Philip Tomasino (21) who made no mistake on the opportunity to give the IceDogs the lead and it was 1-0.
At 6:39 and 6:59, the Rangers took two penalties. The first one was to Graham Dickerson for holding, and the second was to Donovan Sebrango for delay of game.
On the two-man-advantage, Adrien Beraldo (4) took a wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle through traffic and past Pfeil to extend the IceDogs lead to 2-0.
Jackson Doherty (2) extended Niagara’s lead at 9:41 when more sustained pressure deep in the Rangers end led to an opportunity in the middle of the ice and the left-winger buried it to make it 3-0.
At 14:41, Beraldo took two penalties — one for holding and one for unsportsmanlike conduct — and on the ensuing powerplay, Liam Hawel found Jonathan Yantsis (25) down low. The Rangers leading goalscorer tipped in the pass to get the Rangers on the board. It was 3-1 at 16:25.
Axel Bergkvist also earned an assist on the powerplay goal.
Shortly after, at 17:01, a very similar play led to Riley Damiani finding Yantsis (26) down low for his second put-in of the night and just like that it was 3-2.
The second assist on the goal was awarded to Greg Meireles.
As time was winding down in the period, another man-advantage for the Rangers led to Meireles (17) firing a shot from above the faceoff circle and past Josh Rosenzweig to tie it up, 3-3.
Bergkvist and Damani picked up more assists on Meireles’ seventh goal in five games.
After a wild first period that featured three powerplay goals for the Rangers, the IceDogs led in shots 12-10.
The Rangers took their first lead of the game at 10:41 when none other than Yantsis (27) tipped in a shot by Justin MacPherson to make it 4-3.
The second assist on the goal was by Simon Motew.
Kitchener extended their lead at 15:48 on a bar-down shot from Reid Valade (12) on an assist by Michael Vukojevic, and it was 5-3.
At 17:20, Ethan Sims scored a goal for Niagara. It was their first shot of the period and brought the IceDogs back within one, 5-4.
After 20 minutes, the Rangers led the IceDogs in shots, 26-14.
Niagara tied the game up at 11:29 when a cross-ice pass by Ivan Lodnia was one-timed by Dakota Betts past Pfeil to make it 5-5.
The IceDogs retook the lead at 12:53 when Tomasino came streaking down Niagara’s offensive boards and went farside and high on Pfeil. 6-5.
With just 27 seconds left in the third period, on the powerplay and with Pfeil out of his net, Liam Hawel unloaded a shot from the side of the IceDogs net and scored to tie it up, 6-6.
In overtime, a neutral ice turnover led to Lodnia scoring on a second chance opportunity to give the IceDogs the win.
Final shots on goal were 26-24 in favour of the Rangers.
The next Rangers home game is on Friday, January 10 versus the Niagara IceDogs at 7:30 pm. The next road game for the Rangers is on Saturday, January 5 at 2:00 pm versus the Guelph Storm.
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