Rangers Punch Ticket to Playoffs with Sixth-Straight Win Friday
March 10, 2023 – Ontario Hockey League (OHL) – Kitchener Rangers News Release
Kitchener, Ont. – The Rangers clinched a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season after posting an 8-3 victory over the Owen Sound Attack Friday night. With the win, Kitchener has now recorded six consecutive victories and have earned points in 11 of their past 13 games.
Francesco Arcuri (Dallas Stars) and Carson Rehkopf each tallied multi-goal games and Filip Mešár (Montreal Canadiens) notched three assists to lead the Rangers’ offence. Marco Costantini earned his fifth-straight win making 30 saves on the night.
The Rangers got the early power-play, but it was Owen Sound finding the back-of-the-net short-handed to open the scoring At 4:05, Colby Barlow forced a turnover at the Owen Sound blueline and powered his way in for a breakaway. Barlow beat Costantini over the blocker arm to give the Attack a 1-0 lead.
Kitchener made good on their second power-play of the game to tie the contest 1-1. Hunter Brzustewicz made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone for Filip Mešár (Montréal Canadiens) to send a backdoor pass for Carson Rehkopf to tap in his 25th goal of the season. Then, with 2:28 left to play in the period, Kitchener took their first lead of the game. Matthew Sop opened space in the slot for a shot. His initial attempt was stopped, but he followed up with the rebound and slapped the puck over the glove of Nick Chenard.
After 20 minutes of play Kitchener led the Attack 2-1 and outshot Owen Sound 7-6.
Kitchener exploded for three goals in the second period, two more coming on the power-play to blow the game wide open. Francesco Arcuri (Dallas Stars) got things started 48 seconds into the period on a one-timer from the right faceoff dot fed by Filip Mešár. Then, at 9:51, Ty Hollett made a no-look backhand pass that found Carson Rehkopf in the slot who beat Nick Chenard over the glove. To cap off the three-goal period, Mitchell Martin deflected a point shot off the crossbar but was able to get his stick on the puck in the crease to knock it over the line.
With 20 minutes left to play, Kitchener held a 5-1 lead and shots favoured the Rangers 19-16.
The third period had some back-and-forth action, but it was never in doubt for the Rangers who has a response and some for every Owen Sound push-back. Owen Sound pulled one back 2:03 into the period to make it a 5-2 game with Deni Goure getting the goal. Two minutes after that, Kitchener responded with a timely fourth-line goal. Justin Bottineau made a pass to the middle of the ice for Adrian Misaljevic who made a one-handed deflection past the Owen Sound Attack goaltender. Misaljevic scored in his return to the lineup after an extended absence due to injury.
At 7:52, Francesco Pinelli (Los Angeles Kings) gave Kitchener their largest goal margin of the night making it a 7-2 game with his shot beating Nick Chenard through the arm. Sam Sedley scored his sixth of the season playing as a forward in this game to make it 7-3, but 25 seconds after that Francesco Arcuri scored his 45th goal of the season to make it 8-3 which is where the game finished.
The Kitchener Rangers dominated Owen Sound for an 8-3 victory with shots ending up in favour of the Attack 33-29. The Rangers finished the game 3-for-5 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Carson Rehkopf earned the game’s third star with two goals, Francesco Arcuri earned the game’s second star with two goals as well, and Filip Mešár earned the game’s first star with three assists.
Next Up: The Rangers finish the weekend on the road playing two games in the next two days against two of the top three teams in the Western Conference. The Rangers face-off against the Spitfires in Windsor Saturday before battling the Sting in Sarnia Sunday.
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