Rangers suffer first loss of season against Owen Sound

The Kitchener Rangers were hoping for a better result on Friday night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

They gave up two first period goals to the Attack, one of which was a 5-on-3 power play goal by Attack Captain Colby Barlow. Barlow finished the night with three points.

Barlow was just returned to Owen Sound after attending Winnipeg Jets training camp.

The Rangers gave up a third goal just 1:02 into the second period and Owen Sound never looked back. Deni Goure scored the game winning goal putting the Attack up by three.

Kitchener found a way to push back against the Attack with Matthew Sop responding to make it a 3-1 game midway through the second. That was Sop’s first goal of the campaign.

“It feels good,” said Sop post-game. “It always feels good to get that off your back sooner into the season. It was a good play all around from all the boys.”

Owen Sound got the insurance marker at 11:16 of the third that put away the Rangers for good. Hunter Brzustewicz found the back of the net as well for the Rangers.The come back effort fell short with Owen Sound scoring an empty net goal.

Kitchener loses their first game of the year 5-2 and falls to 3-1-0-0 on the season.

Head Coach Jussi Ahokas said that penalties early cost them the game.

“First period, stupid penalties that cost us. They scored on the 5-on-3 and then [we had] bad puck management, turnovers. They utilized their chances really well. I thought we played really well 5-on-5. We should have kept shooting a little bit more. A couple times when we had a great chance to shoot we were still trying to find the perfect play. Their goalie played a great game. [We had] mistakes from a couple guys. There was a lot of good things also in this game.”

Ahokas was happy to see the Rangers not take any penalties in the second and third but taking three penalties in the first is something he’d like his team to clean up.

“It’s a concern for any coach if you are taking penalties. If they have a Barlow kind of guy shooting who has an NHL level shot, you can’t give that to him 5-on-3 that’s just too much room.”

Attack goalie Carter George was busy making 34 saves in the game.

“He played a great game,” said Ahokas. “We just need to have better screens, go a little harder to the net. I think we could have scored a little bit more. Just when we have the chance we have to get a little tougher. It’s a learning curve and it’s a good teaching game for us.”

They are back at it Saturday night on the road in Saginaw for a rematch of their home opener.

Catch the Harris Law pre-game show on CityNews 570 at 6:30 p.m. with Mike Farwell and Paul Fixter.

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