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Kitchener Rangers snap streak in first game back after holidays

The holiday break stopped the Rangers six-game winning streak, for ten days, and then the Owen Sound Attack snapped it, and one of their own, in the first game back.
File photo of Kitchener Rangers forward Reid Valade.

The Ontario Hockey League's holiday break is like leaving metal in water. Rust starts to form.

On Wednesday, in Owen Sound at the Bayshore, both teams were rusty. So too, were the officials.

Kitchener-native Matt Sop opened the scoring for the Kitchener Rangers, who came into the game 13-1 when scoring the opening goal of the game. He also took the period's only penalty.

In the second period, the game became busier.

The Owen Sound Attack scored a pair, in a period that had six minor penalties called, followed by another eight in the final frame.

“It's not a lot of fun,” said head coach Chris Dennis. “Especially in the third period. I felt bad for our bottom two lines. They never saw the ice really, and then you want to get them back into the game and you're trying to get your top guys some rest. It just really disrupts the flow for both teams.”

With Marco Costantini on the bench, fellow overager Lleyton Moore sent a point-shot to the net in the dying seconds.

It was tipped home by Reid Valade, to tie the game with just 1.5 seconds left on the clock, and secure a point for the Rangers. Give them at least a point in their last seven match-ups.

But, in overtime, Colby Barlow sauced a pass to Gavin Bryant and the Attack topped the Rangers 3-2 in overtime.

“We looked a little rusty. We looked like we had a break,” said Dennis of his power play, which at the time of this writing was 1-for-8 in the game according to the league site.

“They were much interrupted with a 10 second one here, or a 20 second one there, I wouldn't look at that number really. But, with that said, two seconds to go, the power play found a way to get us a point, and we'll take that point.”

Kitchener comes back home Friday to face the Peterborough Petes, before heading on the road for a New Years Eve matinee with the Windsor Spitfires. 

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