Brantford surged late to beat Kitchener in a Shootout
Brantford, Ont. – The Kitchener Rangers traveled to Brantford for their second preseason game this season. The Rangers came out strong but a comeback by the Bulldogs brought the game to a shootout which resulted in Brantford winning the game 5-4.
Kitchener got off to a quick start in Brantford as Trent Swick carried the puck end to end, with a wrap-around chance which Seattle Kraken prospect Carson Rehkopf finished off on a rebound just three minutes and 15 seconds into the game. The Ottawa Senators 2023 fifth-round draft pick Matthew Andonovski was rewarded with an assist on the play as well. The Rangers continued to come out strong as Ottawa Senators prospect Tomas Hamara and Mitchell Martin sprung onto a shorthanded two-on-one. Hamara received the puck from Martin and buried it to put the Rangers up 2-0 at 13:59, with a secondary assist to Matthew Sop. Brantford answered soon after at 12:29 as Marek Vanacker scored a backhanded goal in tight on Luca DiFelice. The Rangers finished the period leading 2-1 despite being outshot 10-6.
The second period was dominated by goaltending. Both teams had many opportunities including a chance by Tomas Hamara on a 2-on-0 breakaway for the Rangers. Matthew Sop was also stopped on a shorthanded breakaway in a sprawling save by Tristan Malboeuf. Malboeuf saved 16 of 17 shots in the second period as he was finally cracked with 5:43 left in the second period when Rehkopf scored his second goal of the game on the powerplay. Assists were given to Hamara and Martin. The Rangers dominated the shots in the second period 17-6 to bring the total shots to 23-16 after two periods of play. Kitchener led 3-1 heading into the third period.
Simon Motew got the action going for Kitchener in the third period. He scored on a deflection that snuck by Malboeuf after a long sequence of pressure by the Rangers. Rehkopf and Swick were rewarded with assists on the play. Shortly after Brantford went on a 4 on 3 powerplay which Jake O’Brien capitalized on. Brantford went on to score two more unanswered goals from Dylan Tsherna and Florian Xhekaj to tie the game. The final score through 60 minutes of play was 4-4 and shots were 30-26 in favour of the Rangers.
As per preseason rules, the game went directly to a shootout. 5 of 6 shooters scored in the shootout and Brantford was able to come away with a comeback victory.
The Rangers and Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday, September 8th for the second game of their home and home series at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at The Aud Box Office sponsored by White Way Plumbing or online here.