OSHAWA, ON – The Kitchener Rangers come to town looking to best your OHL leading Oshawa Generals. The Generals are coming off of a big victory against the rival Ottawa 67s in a payback matchup for last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Rangers had lost each of their past 2 games with a 4-4-1-1 record in their last 10. The Generals have a 6-3-0-1 record in their last 10.
Tonight’s game was our Night of Remembrance – thus we honoured two servicemen for their outstanding service to our country. The guests of honour were Corporal David MacDonald and Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Boychyn. MacDonald was injured in the line of duty in a vehicle roll-over on combat patrol while deployed in Afghanistan and recently retired after 15 years of service. Boychyn served 24 years with the 32 Combat Engineer Regiment and currently serves as the National Program Coordinator for Wounded Warriors Canada.
Generals Starting 5
Forward: Brett Neumann – Kyle MacLean – Ty Tullio
Defense: William Ennis – Nico Gross
Oshawa Generals: Zachary Paputsakis
Kitchener Rangers: Lucas Pfeil
The first period started slow offensively. A couple of chances went each way, highlighted by a break by Generals’ leading scorer Brett Neumann who wired a shot that was deflected out of play.
A nifty play where Lleyton Moore broke up a Rangers break out in the neutral zone, the puck was moved up to Oliver Suni who carried the puck up the wing back into the Rangers zone. Suni then slid a pass back to Serron Noel who rocketed his 6th goal of the season past Pheil from the slot.
Suni’s strong period continued on with two strong chances on a powerplay late in the period, his first chance spoiled by a broken stick and his second crushed by a bobbled pass in front of a wide open net.
17.6 seconds away from leaving the period with a 1 goal advantage, and the Rangers managed to even the match. Liam Hawel received a cross-ice pass from Axel Bergkvist and chipped it past Paputsakis.
The period would end 1-1 with the Rangers outshooting the Generals 11-9. Although outshot, the Generals controlled play throughout the period.
Oshawa started the second period looking to even up the shots, firing a shot at almost every opportunity.
Nico Gross was a standout in this period blasting a few strong shots on net from the point on the Generals’ lead powerplay unit. Paputsakis also had a really strong showing making the big saves throughout the period and showed mental toughness as he was bowled over by both Jonathan Yantsis and Declan McDonnell – in a way that Kyle Keyser was subjected to at least once a match last season.
Kitchener seem to be the next on the scoreboard. Riley Damiani fired a shot that rainbowed way up and was deflected in by Hawel. After a review, it was determined that Hawel intentionally redirected the puck into the net, using his head, in a soccer move that is rarely seen in hockey. The score stayed even at 1.
It was looking as though the period would end with an even score, but Giovanni Vallati launched a stretch pass from deep in the Generals zone to Allan McShane who was waiting at the Rangers blue line. The pass was a little hot for McShane to handle and it deflected into the Rangers zone – rimming around the boards. McShane retrieved the puck below the net and sent a nifty backhand pass behind him out front to Noel, who rifled his second of the game.
The period ended with the Generals holding off an onslaught from the Rangers who dominated possession in the Oshawa end. Solid team defense, a lot of blocked shots and big saves from Paputsakis kept the scoreboard tilted in the Generals’ favour.
The third period was a little more rough and tumble. For two teams that only meet twice a season, there was some serious tension between them. Both sides started to throw the body with more frequency,
With 4:46 remaining in the period, Daniel Walker made a got the puck deep in the Rangers zone, made a nifty move around a Rangers’ defenseman and passed across ice to the back door, where Serron Noel was waiting to tap in his hat trick goal.
It only took Kitchener 15 seconds to answer when Riley Damiani picked up the puck below the Generals goal line in the far corner and launched the puck towards the net from a near impossible angle. The puck redirected off of the inside of Paputsakis’ pad and into the net. The score was 3-2.
With the Rangers net empty, Kyle MacLean made a pass up to Neumann who was off to the races and ripped a shot into the wide open orifice giving the Generals a goal for insurance.
The game would end with the Generals being outshot 38-30, but besting the Rangers on the scoreboard 4-2.
Oshawa Generals (4) – Kitchener Rangers (2)
1 – Serron Noel (3 goals, 1 assist, 3 shots on goal)
2 – Zachary Paputsakis (.947 SV%, 36 SVs)
3 – Lucas Pfeil (26 SVs, 3GA)
Hardest Working Player of the Game:
Nico Gross (3 SOG, +2)
The next home game takes place on Friday, November 22nd at 7:35pm – when your Oshawa Generals face off against the Erie Otters.
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