Joshua Leivo scored the overtime winner for the Kitchener Rangers, lifting the team to a 5-4 victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday afternoon. The recently acquired winger also added two assists in his first game against his former team. Tobias Rieder’s fourth goal in four games forced the extra frame and Joel Vienneau made 24 saves to improve to 3-0-0-1 since arriving in Kitchener.
The Rangers opened the scoring at the 7:27 mark of the first period. Overage winger Derek Schoenmakers got his stick on Ryan Murphy’s shot from the point, tipping it past former Rangers goaltender Franky Palazzese. The Kitchener native, who played in Sudbury during the 2011-12 season, has 12 goals this season.
Kitchener led shots on goal 13-10 in the opening period.
The Wolves pulled even three minutes into the second period when sophomore forward Nicholas Baptiste slid the puck through the five-hole of former Wolves netminder Joel Vienneau. Nathan Pancel and Charlie Dodero earned the assists on Baptiste’s 12th of the year.
Michael Kantor gave the Wolves their first lead 93 seconds later, carrying the puck to the net and finding room under Vienneau. His 11th of the year was assisted by Jacob Harris and Dodero, his second of the game.
Eric Ming leveled the score at 2-2 with an unassisted short-handed goal. The third-year winger chipped the puck between two Sudbury skaters and chased it down, lifting a high shot over Palazzese for his ninth of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Sudbury forward Mathew Campagna put his team back in front. The third-year centre was awarded a penalty shot and beat former teammate Vienneau high glove side for his 13th of the year.
The Rangers continued to out-shoot Sudbury in the middle frame, with a 13-12 advantage.
Kitchener started the second period on the power play, and Matt Puempel took advantage, picking up a rebound in front of Palazzese and burying it for his 22nd of the season and first since returning from injury on Friday. Murphy picked up his second helper of the game on Puempel’s ninth power play tally of the year. Former Sudbury forward Joshua Leivo also assisted on the play.
Baptiste’s second of the game put the Wolves on top 4-3 with less than two minutes to play. The Ottawa native found the puck in his skates in front of the Rangers net, turned and fired a quick shot into the open side of the cage. His 13th was assisted by Dodero, his third point of the afternoon, and Campagna.
With 43.3 seconds remaining in regulation Tobias Rieder collected at feed from behind the net and beat Palazzese, forcing the contest into overtime. Leivo earned his second assist of the game on Rieder’s 14th of the year and fourth in as many games.
Kitchener out-shot Sudbury 16-5 in the third period, finishing regulation with a 42-27 overall advantage.
Leivo’s first goal against his former club was the overtime winner with 24 seconds remaining on the clock. Former Wolves captain Frank Corrado and Rieder earned the assists on the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect’s 21st of the season and second with the Rangers. His three-point afternoon also extends his recent point streak to four games.
The Rangers led shots on goal 5-2 in the extra frame, finishing with a 49-27 overall advantage. Vienneau made 23 saves in his first start against his former team and improves to 3-0-0-1 since arriving in Kitchener. The win improves the Rangers overall record to 26-14-1-5.
1. KIT D. Schoenmakers, (12) (R. Murphy), 7:27
2. SBY N. Baptiste, (12) (N. Pancel, C. Dodero), 3:00
2. SBY M. Kantor, (11) (J. Harris, C. Dodero), 4:33
2. KIT E. Ming, (9) (unassisted), 14:40 (SH)
2. SBY M. Campagna, (13) (unassisted), 16:32 (PS)
3. KIT M. Puempel, (22) (R. Murphy, J. Leivo), 0:37
3. SBY N. Baptiste, (13) (C. Dodero, M. Campagna), 18:16
3. KIT T. Rieder, (14) (J. Leivo), 19:17
OT. KIT J. Leivo, (21) (F. Corrado, T. Rieder), 4:36
1. KIT – 24 Ryan Murphy
2. SBY – 14 Nicholas Baptiste
3. SBY – 44 Charlie Dodero
The Rangers return 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.