Kitchener, ON: The Sault St. Marie Greyhounds (10-3-2-0) were visiting the Kitchener Rangers (6-5-2-0) on Friday night for a showdown between two of the west division’s best teams.
The Greyhounds came firing right out of the gate scoring on the first shot they got against Luke Richardson. That was how this night would tend to go for the Rangers, going down 3-0 early, as they just couldn’t seem to keep the western conference-leading Greyhounds from scoring.
Jonathan Yantsis (9), Greg Meireles(7) and Riley Damiani(6) notched Kitchener’s four goals on the night, two of which were by Meireles. Yantsis also added three assists on the night and upped his season points total to 15.
Despite outshooting the Greyhounds 34-40, the Rangers ultimately lost the game, 7-4.
It didn’t take long for there to be action in Friday night tilt at The Aud. The first shot on goal for the Greyhounds found its way past Richardson to make it 1-0 for the Sault.
Shortly after, on the game’s third shot, the Greyhounds scored again and just like that, with 17:08 to go in the first period, the Rangers were down 2-0.
At 9:34 of the first, after a flurry of chances for the Rangers, the Sault had numbers on Kitchener going the other way and they capitalized to go up 3-0.
The first penalty of the game went to the Greyhounds on a slashing penalty to Jacob LeGuerrier and that’s when the Rangers struck. Yantsis scored his ninth of the season on a wrap-around goal that got trapped underneath goalie Matthew Villalta as he slid across the goal line. The lead was cut to 3-1.
The comeback was cut short not long after the powerplay goal as Barrett Hayton of the Greyhounds put one past Richardson and the lead was restored to three, 4-1.
As if that wasn’t enough action for one period, Meireles, off a huge rebound, tapped it home for his sixth of the season and suddenly the lead was cut to 4-2 heading into the second period of play.
The Greyhounds outshot the Rangers in the first frame, 14-10.
After trading penalties to begin the second period, the Greyhounds continued the pressure they had most the first period and restored their three-goal advantage, 5-2.
It was at that point that the Rangers pulled Richardson for Lucas Pfeil.
Almost immediately after the goaltender switch, the Sault managed to get on a breakaway that resulted in a top corner goal by Jordan Sambrook making it 6-2.
Kitchener never showed signs of quitting at any point during this game, in fact, their play from puck-drop was physical and scrappy.
The hard play paid off for Damiani when he scored his sixth of the season, throwing his hands in the air as a gesture to keep the team and the crowd in the game. The goal made it 6-3.
Then, on a Rangers powerplay, after a number of shots, the Greyhounds found an opening in the pinching defense and skated down the ice for a shorthanded goal on Pfeil to make it 7-3 and that’s how the period would end,
The Sault remained ahead in shots after two periods, 27-23.
The Rangers began to pull ahead in shots during the third period — the game would end with shots in favour of Kitchener 35-30 — and it led to Meireles scoring his second of the night to pull Kitchener within three, 7-4.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, that’s how the game would end.
Kitchener returns to action on Saturday, October 27 at 7:05 pm, on the road against the Oshawa Generals. The Rangers are back at The Aud on Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 pm to face the Guelph Storm.
Tickets still available for all regular season home games. Purchase yours in person at the Activa Box Office 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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