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 Kitchener Rangers

Justin Bottineau Calls Game Three Over Erie

April 2, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Kitchener Rangers News Release

Kitchener Rangers battle the Erie Otters
Kitchener Rangers battle the Erie Otters
(Kitchener Rangers, Credit: Brandon Soto)

Kitchener came back from being down 3-0 to win 4-3 in overtime over Erie and take a 2-1 series lead. Justin Bottineau scored both the equalizer and game-winner to propel the Rangers to the win. With his two-goal effort, Bottineau and his linemates contributed to all four Rangers goals as Luca Romano had three assists and Antonino Pugliese had a goal and two assists. Adrian Misaljevic scored Kitchener's first goal to begin the comeback, while Jackson Parsons stood strong in the net to allow the skaters to get the job done. The Otters scored once in three power play chances while the Rangers did not have an opportunity on the man advantage.

Scoring Summary:

1st Period

ER 1, KIT 0

3:57 Sam Alfano (4) - Pano Fimis, Owain Johnston - PPG

Erie scored first for the first time this series, coming on the power play as Sam Alfano was parked in the crease and deflected the puck into an empty net. Antonino Pugliese was given a tripping penalty at 3:42 leading to the power play for Erie. Owain Johnston received the puck from beside the net as the puck went low to high. Johnston sent the puck cross-ice to the high slot where Pano Fimis was waiting for it. He walked in and sent a sneaky pass through traffic in behind Jackson Parsons to Sam Alfano who did nothing more than deflect the puck into the net.

ER 2, KIT 0

15:31 Kaleb Smith (2)

Kaleb Smith found himself on a breakaway and scored with a glove-side wrist shot to extend their lead. Smith blocked a shot at the Erie blueline which allowed him to explode and find himself in the neutral zone with no one in front of him. On the breakaway, he put the puck on his forehand and scored glove side.

2nd Period

ER 3, KIT 0

1:12 Dylan Edwards (4) - Pano Fimis, Alexis Daviault - Four-on-Four

Dylan Edwards scored Erie's third unanswered goal while four-on-four. Luke Ellinas and Brett Bressette took slashing penalties at 0:04 leading to the four-on-four play. Pano Fimis held the puck along the boards before sending the puck to the slot where Edwards was charging in down toward Jackson Parsons. He put the puck on his backhand and put the puck across the goal line.

ER 3, KIT 1

2:45 Adrian Misaljevic (1) - Luca Romano, Tanner Lam

Adrian Misaljevic got the Rangers on the board as he banged in the puck in-tight on top of the crease of Ben Gaudreau. Luca Romano held the puck behind the net and sent a pass out to Misaljevic. Misaljevic slashed at the puck multiple times before finally beating Gaudreau and scoring the Rangers' first goal of the night.

ER 3, KIT 2

14:59 Antonino Pugliese (1) - Olivier Savard, Luca Romano

Antonino Pugliese scored to bring the Rangers back within one with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. Off an offensive zone faceoff, Antonino Pugliese recovered the loose puck and cycled the puck back to Olivier Savard. Savard rocketed the puck off the post, and it bounced back out to Pugliese, who saw a wide-open net and put it in to score the Rangers' second goal of the game.

3rd Period

ER 3, KIT 3

8:56 Justin Bottineau (1) - Antonino Pugliese, Luca Romano

Justin Bottineau scored Kitchener's third unanswered goal to tie the game up at three and complete the comeback. Antonino Pugliese carried the puck behind the net. As he snuck behind the glove side post he sent a no-look backhand pass to the faceoff circle where Bottineau was sitting. Bottineau walked into a slap shot beating Ben Gaudreau, tying the game.


ER 3, KIT 4

7:57 Justin Bottineau (2) - Antonino Pugliese, Cameron Reid

Justin Bottineau scored on Kitchener's first shot in overtime to call the game. A puck battle between Antonino Pugliese and Matthew Schaefer kicked the puck out to Bottineau in the glove side faceoff circle in the Erie zone. Bottineau ripped the puck over the glove side shoulder of Ben Gaudreau to end the game and complete the comeback.

The Stars:

First Star: Justin Bottineau (2G)

Second Star: Pano Fimis (2A)

Third Star: Jackson Parsons (40 Saves)

The Goalies:

Ben Gaudreau started his first game of the series for Erie, his first game since January 21st, and was very impressive making many timely saves. He stopped 23 of 27 shots in the overtime loss. Jackson Parsons was not to be outplayed in his third appearance of the series making game-changing stops and shutting the door to allow the Rangers to come back and win it in overtime. He made 40 of 43 stops in the game.

The Numbers Game:

Shots: ER 43, KIT 27

Powerplay: ER 1-3, KIT 0-0

FO%: ER 44.1%, KIT 55.9%

Up Next: These two teams will play again Thursday for game four before returning to The Aud Friday for what is guaranteed to be an electric atmosphere for game five. Make sure you secure your seats to the action and grab your tickets at The Aud Box Office Sponsored by White Way Plumbing or online.

Images from this story

Kitchener Rangers battle the Erie Otters
Kitchener Rangers battle the Erie Otters

(Brandon Soto)

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