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Rangers salvage point in front of empty Aud

The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was vacant of fans for the first time for a regular season game because of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario

It was an eerie feeling in the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Friday night.

The building was relatively empty, excluding media members, scouts and team personnel, but the Rangers didn't come away empty handed, thanks in large part to a 47-save performance from Pavel Cajan.

Carey Terrance scored in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Erie Otters to a 3-2 win.

Fans were not allowed in the building due to COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario, but the organization did their best to present a game-day feel, complete with piped in crowd noise.

The first was all Otters, but couldn't generate many high-quality scoring chances and the game was scoreless through one.

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period.

Justin Nolet opened the scoring on the power play almost six minutes in, and then Francesco Pinelli went forehand, backhand, five-hole on Erie's Nolan Lalonde three minutes later.

Brendan Sellan solved Cajan before the second was complete, part of a middle frame where the Otters peppered 24 recorded shots on net.

In the third, the Otters pushed and got the game even on a goal by Elias Cohen.

Nolet took a hooking call in overtime, but the Otters couldn't finish things off in the extra session, so to the shootout it went.

Noah Sedore and the birthday boy Carson Rehkopf traded goals in the first three rounds, and Terrance provided the only other marker.

Lost in all this was the return of Simon Motew from a four-game suspension. He recorded a shot on net.

He lined up with overager Nolet on the first pairing, with the departure of Arber Xhekaj to Hamilton.

Navrin Mutter, who came over from the Bulldogs in the trade, did not play due to COVID protocols, but there is a chance he plays Sunday against London.

The Rangers and Otters meet again Saturday afternoon at the Aud.

Pregame on CityNews 570 starts at 3:30 p.m.


Mark Pare

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