With the teams combining for 84 penalty minutes, special teams played the difference as the Attack fell 4-3 to the Rangers Friday night.
It was only the third meeting this season between the Owen Sound Attack and Kitchener Rangers, but with the amount of fireworks throughout the game you’d have thought it was nine.
Owen Sound came out hungry, as they carried much of the play early, but a break down in the defensive zone just over five minutes in the first, gave the Rangers an early lead. The Attack were able to even the game, around the mid-point of the period, after two unsuccessful power play attempts, it was Ethan Burroughs who sniped one short side after collecting a rebound in front.
It was late in the first when the fireworks started to go off, as Attack captain Mark Woolley and Rangers assistant captain Arber Xhejak squared off at centre ice, for a heavy weight tilt. The fight brought a ton of energy into the game, but maybe too much, as much of the second period was a penalty filled affair.
The teams came went into the final frame, even at two, with Thomas Chafe having given the Attack a lead early in the second, but a shorthanded goal by the Rangers tied things up again.
It was just over a minute into the third period, when Burroughs finally broke through on an Attack power play, as he found a hole from the side of the net, with the puck just squeaking past the Rangers net minder. Unfortunately, this lead was short lived, as just over a minute and a half later, and another defensive zone mishap by Owen Sound saw Kitchener even the game again.
The Rangers took the lead just over seven minutes into the period. Owen Sound pressed for the tying goal, as they would pull goalie Nick Chenard late in the period to have a 6-on-5 advantage. The Rangers were able to hold off the Attack’s strong push and would hand Owen Sound just their second regulation loss since the month of October.
Owen Sound struggled on the power play throughout the game, going just 1-for-8 with the extra man, including giving up a shorthanded goal. Chenard, though the less busy of the two goalies was solid in the Attack net, coming up with some highlight reel saves, including a 2-on-0 rush to keep the score evened at two late in the second period.
Owen Sound is back on the ice tomorrow night for game one of a weekend double header with the visiting Flint Firebirds. Tickets for both games can be purchased online or at the McVicar and McComb Sutton Reality Box Office.