Rangers down Sting in shootout

Rangers, Sting score 10 goals in first two pe­ri­ods that ends in dra­matic shootout

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - JOSH BROWN Water­loo Re­gion Record jbrown@there­cord.com Twit­ter: @BrownRecord

KITCH­ENER — It was a night to re­mem­ber.

Sgt. Dar­ryl Casselman, backed The Pipes and Drums of the Royal High­land Fusiliers of Canada, sang an emo­tional ver­sion of Amaz­ing Grace as part of a Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony be­fore Fri­day’s game at the Aud.

A group of lo­cal vet­er­ans stand­ing at cen­tre ice were also hon­oured by the 6,666 fans in at­ten­dance be­fore the clash be­tween the Kitch­ener Rangers and Sar­nia Sting.

Then, an edge of the seat af­fair fol­lowed.

The teams com­bined for 10 goals over the first two pe­ri­ods and skated through a tense third and over­time locked at five be­fore Kitch­ener’s Rickard Hugg capped the 6-5 shootout win.

It was the first time the Rangers have won back-to-back games since start­ing the sea­son at 3-0.

The Blueshirts also looked the part on the ice.

Play­ers were dressed in spe­cial navy and white sweaters to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War 1. The front crest fea­tured a white dove while a bell was on the right shoul­der.

It was the 14th year the Rangers have donned spe­cial jer­seys. Fans were able to bid on the gear dur­ing the game with pro­ceeds go­ing to the 78th Fraser High­landers Fort Con­estoga Gar­ri­son and the Kitch­ener-Water­loo Poppy Fund.

The home side got off to a quick start.

De­fence­man Arbe Xhekaj scored his first On­tario Hockey League goal just 3:25 into the first pe­riod when his wrist shot from the point fooled Sting goalie Ai­dan Hughes.

Sup­port­ers were still cel­e­brat­ing when Sar­nia for­ward — and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect — Ryan Mc­Gre­gor an­swered with a wrap­around just 26 sec­onds later.

And the back-and-forth con­tin­ued in the open­ing frame of the game.

Sar­nia’s Justin McCombs snuck past the Rangers’ de­fence to pot his sec­ond of the cam­paign be­fore Kitch­ener’s Ri­ley Dami­ani tied the game 2-2 with a blast from the slot.

The Sting re­gained the lead be­fore the break on a you-had-tosee-it-to-be­lieve-it kind of goal. Winger Cur­tis Egert was on his butt in the crease with his back to Rangers’ goalie Lu­cas Pfeil but — some­how — was able to back­hand his first of the sea­son while seated.

The foes com­bined for five more mark­ers in the sec­ond pe­riod. Sar­nia seemed primed to head into in­ter­mis­sion with a 5-4 lead but cen­tre Ri­ley Dami­ani won a draw in the Sting zone and fed team­mate Rickard Hugg who sniped the equal­izer with 9.3 sec­onds.

The teams sent a com­bined 10 play­ers out for the shootout. Dami­ani and Greg Meire­les also scored in the saw-off for the Rangers while Sar­nia got shootout goals from Hugo Leufve­nius and Franco Sproviero.

Pfeil made 30 saves and three more in the shootout to pick up his sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son.

The Rangers head to Lon­don Sun­day af­ter­noon to face the Knights at 2 p.m.

MATHEW MCCARTHY WATER­LOO RE­GION RECORD

Mike Pe­tizian of the Kitch­ener Rangers, left, takes a glove to the face from Mitch Eliot of the Sar­nia Sting dur­ing first pe­riod ac­tion at The Aud.

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