Goals from Matt Puempel, Tobias Rieder and Eric Ming led the Kitchener Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves on Saturday afternoon. Defenceman Evan McEneny earned a pair of assists while former Sudbury netminder Joel Vienneau made 23 saves to secure a victory for the Rangers.
Matt Puempel’s team leading 29th goal of the season put the Rangers ahead 1-0 less than five minutes into the opening period. With Kitchener on the power play, Evan McEneny threw a long shot on goal and the Ottawa Senators prospect quickly directed it past former Rangers netminder Franky Palazzese. Tobias Rieder resumed his impressive scoring pace with an assist on Puempel’s sixth goal in six games.
The Rangers added to their lead with a second power play marker late in the frame. Rieder lifted a shot high over the shoulder of Palazzese, bouncing the puck off the crossbar and into the net for his 25th goal of the year. McEneny collected his second point of the night with a helper on the play. The second assist was credited to former Wolves rearguard Frank Corrado.
The Rangers led shots on goal 18-6 through the opening 20 minutes.
Kitchener extended its lead to three goals late in the second period, when Eric Ming corralled a rebound in front of the Sudbury net, burying it behind Palazzese for his 11th of the season, a career best for the third year winger. Ben Fanelli and Darby Llewellyn assisted on Ming’s second goal in as many games.
The Rangers continued to out-shoot the Wolves in the second, holding a 14-8 advantage.
Sudbury got on the board with 12:40 left to play when Nick Baptiste dug the puck out along the boards and moved it to Jacob Harris in front of the net. The sophomore centre lifted a shot over the pads of Rangers netminder Joel Vienneau to record his 14th of the season.
With less than two minutes remaining, Mathew Campagna beat Vienneau blocker-side to pull to Wolves within one. Charlie Dodero and Dominik Kubalik picked up the assists on the veteran centreman’s 20th of the season.
The Rangers held on for a 3-2 win, finishing with a 41-25 advantage on the shot clock. Vienneau made 23 saves against his former club, improving to 10-2-0-3 since being traded to Kitchener.
With the victory, the Rangers sweep the two game season series with the Wolves and improve to 34-17-1-7 this season.
1. KIT M. Puempel, (29) (E. McEneny, T. Rieder), 4:53 (PP)
1. KIT T. Rieder, (25) (E. McEneny, F. Corrado), 18:24 (PP)
2. KIT E. Ming, (11) (B. Fanelli, D. Llewellyn), 14:49
3. SBY J. Harris, (14) (N. Baptiste), 7:20
3. SBY M. Campagna, (20) (C. Dodero, D. Kubalik), 18:12
1. KIT – 9 Tobias Rieder
2. KIT – 2 Evan McEneny
3. SBY – 61 Nathan Pancel
The Ranger hit the road Sunday, February 24 for a 2:00pm game against the Brampton Battalion. Their next home game is Tuesday, March 5, when they host the Guelph Storm at 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.