Kole Sherwood scored his 14th goal of the playoffs at 13:12 of overtime to propel the Kitchener Rangers to a 4-3, Game 6 win in front of 6,975 fans at The Aud on Sunday afternoon.
Sherwood’s winner ties the series, 3-3, and forces the best-of-seven Western Conference Final to a deciding Game 7 tomorrow at 7:07pm at the Essar Centre.
The Greyhounds scored the game’s opening goal at 8:21 of the first period, and they maintained that lead until just under five minutes remaining in the second period.
Givani Smith jammed home a loose puck at 15:28 and immediately celebrated, but the play was given a lengthy video review before finally being deemed a good goal, tying the game at 1-1.
Just over two minutes into the third period the Rangers took their first lead of the game on a goal by Joseph Garreffa, and later added another to take a 3-1 lead as Adam Mascherin notched a power play goal with just over five minutes to play in the game.
But the Greyhounds still had some fight left, and less than a minute later Taylor Raddysh cut the lead to 3-2 at 15:21. With less than two minutes remaining and the visitors on the power play, they would tie the game, 3-3, eventually sending the game to OT.
It was a stellar afternoon for both Smith and Garreffa, who each finished the afternoon with a goal and two helpers.
Mario Culina once again gave the Rangers every opportunity to win, turning aside 45 of 48 shots strewn his way to earn the win.
Matthew Villalta took the loss, surrendering four goals on 38 Rangers shots.
Shots on goal were 14-9 Soo after the first, 26-26 after two, and 42-34 heading to overtime.
The Rangers went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Greyhounds were 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
Taylor Raddysh (SSM) (3), Mario Culina (KIT) (2), and Kole Sherwood (KIT) (1) were selected as the Three Stars of the Game.
Logan Stanley, Adam Mascherin, and Logan Brown each wore an “A” and skated as alternates to Rangers’ captain Connor Bunnaman.
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Western Conference Final
(1) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds vs. (2) Kitchener Rangers
Series tied 3-3
Game 1 – Friday, April 20: Kitchener Rangers 2 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3
Game 2 – Saturday, April 21: Kitchener Rangers 2 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4
Game 3 – Monday, April 23: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 0 at Kitchener Rangers 3
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 25: Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 4 at Kitchener Rangers 7
Game 5 – Friday, April 27: Kitchener Rangers 3 at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7
Game 6 – Sunday, April 29: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3 at Kitchener Rangers 4 OT
Game 7 – Monday, April 30: Kitchener Rangers at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – 7:07pm
Western Conference Semi-Final
(2) Kitchener Rangers vs. (3) Sarnia Sting
Kitchener leads series 3-2
Game 1 – Friday, April 6: Sarnia Sting 2 at Kitchener Rangers 4
Game 2 – Sunday, April 8: Sarnia Sting 3 at Kitchener Rangers 2 OT
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 10: Kitchener Rangers 1 at Sarnia Sting 4
Game 4 – Thursday, April 12: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Sarnia Sting 3
Game 5 – Friday, April 13: Sarnia Sting 2 at Kitchener Rangers 3 OT
Game 6 – Sunday, April 15: Kitchener Rangers 6 at Sarnia Sting 2
Western Conference Quarter-Final
(2) Kitchener Rangers vs. (7) Guelph Storm
Kitchener wins series 4-2
Game 1 – Friday, March 23: Guelph Storm 2 at Kitchener Rangers 7
Game 2 – Sunday, March 25: Guelph Storm 1 at Kitchener Rangers 2
Game 3 – Tuesday, March 27: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Guelph Storm 7
Game 4 – Wednesday, March 28: Kitchener Rangers 4 at Guelph Storm 6
Game 5 – Friday, March 30: Guelph Storm 2 at Kitchener Rangers 10
Game 6 – Sunday, April 1: Kitchener Rangers 5 at Guelph Storm 2