Riley Damiani's Hat Trick Helps Drive Ranger Win
Kitchener, ON: The Rangers (2-1-1-1) returned home after a northern road trip to face their divisional rivals, the Owen Sound Attack (2-2-0-1) at The Aud.
Despite the Attack jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, the 40 minutes that followed were dominated by the Rangers and, most notably, Riley Damiani, who earned himself a hat trick on the night.
Francesco Pinelli (5), Ryan Stepien (2), and Greg Meireles (1) also scored goals on the night. Jonathan Yantsis and Liam Hawel earned two assists apiece and Jacob Ingham, the game’s first star, stopped 37 shots in the win.
Owen Sound opened up the scoring at 2:26 when a puck off the end board from Adam McMaster found Deni Goure, who slid the puck between the goal post and Jacob Ingham’s pad to put the Attack up 1-0.
Simon Motew took a slashing penalty at 8:37 and, as that penalty was winding down, Carter Robertson fired a shot from a step inside the blue line that was deflected into the net by Kaleb Pearson to make it 2-0 for the Attack.
The Rangers got on the board at 13:05 when Riley Damiani (2) went forehand, backhand, forehand to deke out Mack Guzda and cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
Liam Hawel and Justin MacPherson earned assists on the Rangers’ opening goal.
At the end of the opening 20 minutes, the Attack led in shots 21-8.
At 12:18 of the second period, the Rangers evened up the contest. Francesco Pinelli (5) scored on a cross-ice pass from Greg Meireles to make it 2-2.
Jonathan Yantsis also earned an assist on Pinelli’s fifth goal in as many games to start his Ontario Hockey League career.
Just under two minutes later, at 14:13, a backdoor pass to Damiani from Hawel resulted in the co-captain’s second goal of the night to give the Rangers their first lead of the game, 3-2.
Declan McDonnell picked up an assist on the goal as well.
Kitchener added their fourth goal of the period at 16:49 when Mike Petizian passed to Motew who fired a shot that was tipped by Ryan Stepien at the side of Guzda’s net to put the Rangers up 4-2.
At the end of the second period, the Attack remained ahead in shots 30-27 despite being outshot 19-9 in the period.
Owen Sound closed the lead to one at 1:08 when a defensive zone turnover ended up earning Daylon Groulx his fourth goal of the season. It was 4-3.
Tne Rangers restored their two-goal advantage just six seconds later when Greg Meireles, in his first game back with the Rangers, had his shot tipped by an Attack player to make it 5-3.
Yantsis picked up his second assist of the night on the goal.
At 10:27, Donovan Sebrango drew a holding penalty from Robertson that put the Rangers on the power-play.
On the ensuing power-play, at 10:53, Meireles, on a pass from Sebrango, went in on Guzda before dishing the puck to Damiani at the face-off circle on the far side. The centreman rifled it past the Attack goalkeeper to complete the hat trick and make it 6-3.
With 34.1 seconds left in the game, Barret Kirwin scored for the Attack to make it 6-4.
That’s as close as the contest would get. The Attack out-shot the Rangers, 41-37.
The Rangers next game is at home on Sunday October 6 at 2:00 pm versus the Ottawa 67s. Kitchener’s next away game is on the road on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:00 pm versus the Owen Sound Attack.
Tickets are available for all regular-season home games! Purchase yours in person at The Aud or Centre in the Square Box Office, by phone (519) 578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, or online.