Steelheads Stay Hot; Beat Rangers
The Steelheads finished off a three-game in three-day swing on Friday night as they visited the Kitchener Rangers for the first time this season. After beating the Erie Otters 5-3 on Wednesday and snapping the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound winning streak on Thursday, the Steelheads set their sights on a third straight victory against a Western Conference opponent.
Just like Thursday night’s victory, the Steelheads started strong. 21 seconds into the game, Kitchener native Nic Hague’s shot from the point found it’s way through traffic and past Rangers’ starting netminder Chris McGonigle. With that goal, Hague became the Steelheads franchise leader for goals in a single season by a defenceman.
The goals came early and often for the Steelheads as rookie Keean Washkurak finished off a nice passing play from Hague and Owen Tippett just 3:31 later. Not to be outdone, Michael Little found the back of the net off a rebound from Tippett. Little’s fifth of the season would prove to be the game winning goal.
After recording a hat trick on Thursday and two assists on the Steelheads first three goals in this game, Tippett found the back of the net for himself as he buried his 16th of the season. Recently acquired Mathieu Foget recorded the lone assist on the Steelheads fourth goal of the first period.
At the end of the first, the Steelheads held a commanding 4-0 and wouldn’t look back.
The pace of play began to slow down and slowly shifted towards the Rangers building some momentum. Just 3:32 into the second period Nick McHugh beat Steelheads starting goaltenter Jake Ingham for his sixth goal of the season. The Rangers continued to press, but Ingham stood tall all game, eventually finishing with 40 saves.
Late the second period Greg Meireles cut the Steelheads lead in half to 4-2, but it was quickly restored. Under two minutes later, Cameron Gaylor scored from in tight. Defenceman Thomas Harley and Michael Little recorded the assists on Gaylor’s third goal of the season.
The Steelheads shut down the Rangers’ offensive attack in the third period and with the Rangers’ goalie pulled in favour of the extra attacker, Owen Tippett rifled one into the empty cage to secure the victory. The goal was Tippett’s second of the night, and seventh in three games.
The Steelheads will return home to the Hershey Centre on January 19th to face the Barrie Colts.
Tickets are available here.