Saturday Highlights: Rangers hold their ground
KITCHENER 4 – FLINT 3 – OT
Sophomore forward Nick McHugh (12) scored 1:41 into overtime as the Kitchener Rangers edged the Flint Firebirds 4-3 on the road. The Rangers salvaged what was a 3-1 lead before Flint came back to tie things late and earn a point in the overtime loss. The Rangers hold their ground in the Western Conference, gaining a point on the seventh place Firebirds to tighten their grip on sixth place to three points. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Connor Bunnaman (32, 33, 34) recorded his second hat-trick of the season while St. Louis Blues prospect Luke Opilka made 42 saves. Adam Mascherin recorded three assists for the Blueshirts who snap a three game losing skid. Dallas Stars draftee Nicholas Caamano (31, 32) scored twice for Flint while veteran captain Alex Peters (9) also found the back of the net. Flint outshot Kitchener 45-33.
OWEN SOUND 4 – SAGINAW 2
Sophomore forward Nick Suzuki (41, 42) scored twice as the Owen Sound Attack won their third straight game with a 4-2 victory over visiting Saginaw. The Attack take over control of second place in the Midwest Division, surpassing the London Knights as Markus Phillips (11) and Petrus Palmu (35) also had goals and defenceman Trenton Bourque notched a pair of assists. The Spirit see their four game winning streak come to an end as Damien Giroux (8) and Hayden Hodgson (37) both lit the lamp. Saginaw is six points back of eighth place Sarnia in the Western Conference with three games left on the schedule.
OSHAWA 3 – KINGSTON 2
Medric Mercier’s (21, 22) outstanding overage campaign continued on Saturday, featuring two goals and an assist in a 3-2 Oshawa Generals road win in Kingston. Mercier scored twice on the power play before setting up Mason Kohn (11) for the game winner 5:11 into the third period as the Generals rebounded from a home ice loss on Friday. Jeremy Brodeur turned aside 28 of the 30 shots he faced, improving the Generals to 37-22-3-2 on the season. Kingston had goals from Ted Nichol (15) and Brett Neumann (12) while Jeremy Helvig made 29 saves in the loss. The Fronts trail fourth place Hamilton, who won on Saturday, by one point in the Eastern Conference. The Generals enter the back end of a home-and-home with Kingston in Oshawa on Sunday with a 5-1-1-0 record against the Frontenacs this season. With 21 goals in a Generals uniform from the blue line, Mercier has the most goals by an Oshawa defenceman since Jim Baxter scored 22 in 1998-99.
HAMILTON 7 – PETERBOROUGH 3
Los Angeles Kings prospect Matt Luff (20, 21, 22) had three goals and two assists as the Hamilton Bulldogs pounced on the visiting Peterborough Petes 7-3. Niki Petti (20) had a goal and two assists while Michael Cramarossa (20) and Will Bitten (21) also got in on the fun with a goal and an assist each. Marian Studenic (18) also found the back of the net for the Bulldogs as Hamilton put an end to Peterborough’s five game winning streak. Steven Lorentz (28), Josh Coyle (11) and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (8) had markers for the Petes while Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nikita Korostelev notched two assists. The Bulldogs have collected at least a point in each of their last four games, stepping one point ahead of fifth place Kingston in the Eastern Conference. The Petes lead the East Division by six points over second place Oshawa with four games remaining on the schedule.
BARRIE 6 – NORTH BAY 0
It was all Colts on Saturday as they blanked the visiting North Bay Battalion 6-0 in Barrie. Ben Hawerchuk (13, 14) led the way with two goals and two assists while rookie winger Kirill Nizhnikov (11, 12) also scored twice as the Colts recorded their third straight win over the Battalion this season. Lucas Chiodo (22) and Giordano Finoro (13) also lit the lamp while Christian Propp turned aside all 33 shots he faced to register his first OHL shutout. The loss is a big blow for the Battalion, who fall two points behind eighth place Niagara for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Troops do hold a game in hand however and hold their fate in their hands with a matchup with the IceDogs in Niagara on Sunday. The Colts put an end to a four game skid, improving to 17-41-6-1.