Justin Bailey scored in the sixth round of a shootout to lift the Kitchener Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Brampton Battalion on Friday night. Netminder John Gibson made 35 saves and stopped all six Brampton skaters in the shootout, earning first star honours. The win was the Rangers’ fifth straight at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
The Rangers hit the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead at the 7:55 mark of the first period. Curtis Meighan carried the puck over the blueline and dropped a pass back to Justin Bailey. His shot was stopped by Battalion netminder Matej Machovsky but the rebound was batted in by Brent Pedersen. The draft eligible forward’s ninth of the season was also his fifth goal in his last five games.
Brampton responded quickly, levelling the score less than two minutes later. The Battalion applied heavy pressure at the net, and veteran Brampton winger Matt MacLeod was eventually able to shovel the puck under Gibson. His seventh of the year was assisted by Brandon Robinson.
MacLeod’s second of the game put Brampton ahead 2-1 with just over three minutes remaining in the period. The Niagara Falls, ON native lifted a shot that bounced off the crossbar behind Gibson. Blake Clarke and Jamie Lewis assisted on his eighth of the season.
The Battalion led shots on goal 10-9 through the opening 20 minutes.
Tobias Rieder’s second goal in as many games pulled the Rangers even just before the eight-minute mark of the middle frame. Joshua Leivo dug the puck out from behind the net and moved it to Rieder in the slot. The German winger snapped a quick shot past Machovsky for his 12th of the season. Jared Gilbert also earned an assist on the play.
Kitchener native Derek Schoenmakers put the Rangers back in front with a power play tally midway through the period. Matia Marcantuoni found the overage winger with a pass from the side of the net, and Schoenmakers buried it for his 11th of the year. The recently-acquired forward has goals in back-to-back games at The Aud. Defenceman Evan McEneny was credited with the second assist extending his recent point streak to four games.
The Rangers out-shot the Battalion 17-6 in the second period.
Brampton took advantage of a power play opportunity near the halfway mark of the third, pulling even at 3-3. Recently acquired forward Francis Menard chipped a shot by Gibson to collect his 16th of the year and first since joining the Battalion in a trade with the Peterborough Petes. Clarke picked up his second helper of the night on the play and rearguard Dylan Blujus also earned an assist.
With the score knotted at three goals apiece, the contest went to overtime. The Battalion led shots on goal 20-6 in the final period of play, finishing regulation with a 36-32 advantage.
Neither team scored in the extra frame, sending the game to a shootout. Brampton fired two shots at Gibson, while Machovsky made three saves for the Battalion.
Bailey found the back of the net in the sixth round of the shootout, lifting the Rangers to a 4-3 win. Gibson stopped all six Brampton shooters to secure the victory.
1. KIT B. Pedersen, (9) (J. Bailey, C. Meighan), 7:55
1. BRA M. MacLeod, (7) (B. Robinson), 9:46
1. BRA M. MacLeod, (8) (B. Clarke, J. Lewis), 16:56
2. KIT T. Rieder, (12) (J. Leivo, J. Gilbert), 7:55
2. KIT D. Schoenmakers, (11) (M. Marcantuoni, E. McEneny), 10:12 (PP)
3. BRA F. Menard, (16) (B. Clarke, D. Blujus), 7:54 (PP)
73 – Matt Puempel No Goal
94 – Radek Faksa No Goal
17 – Joshua Leivo No Goal
9 – Tobias Rieder No Goal
16 – Brent Pedersen No Goal
95 – Justin Bailey Goal
10 – Francis Menard No Goal
19 – Blake Clarke No Goal
23 – Barclay Goodrow No Goal
11 – Patrik Machac No Goal
9 – Brandon Robinson No Goal
20 – Jamie Lewis No Goal
1. KIT – 35 John Gibson
2. BRA – 24 Matt MacLeod
3. KIT – 16 Brent Pedersen
The Rangers hit the road on Saturday, January 19 when they visit the Barrie Colts at 7:00pm. The team returns to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Friday, January 25 when they host the Erie Otters. *Please note that in order to accommodate the nationally televised broadcast of Rogers Sportsnet’s Friday Night Hockey, game time has been moved up to 7:00pm. Tickets to Rangers home games are available by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, via the internet at www.centre-square.com or in person at the Centre In the Square Box Office or the Kitchener Auditorium Box Office.