Kitchener prevails 4-3 in a shootout

KITCHENER, Ont. – Brandon Robinson, who scored in each of the first two periods, netted the only goal in a shootout as the Kitchener Rangers edged the North Bay Battalion 4-3 in a thrilling Ontario Hockey League game Friday night.

Mason Kohn had one goal and one assist for Kitchener, which boasts a won-lost-extended record of 11-0-3 for 25 points atop the Midwest Division and Western Conference. Goaltender Dawson Carty made 30 saves through overtime for the Rangers, winners of nine straight games and the only team in the Canadian Hockey League that has yet to lose in regulation time.

Mike Baird had one goal and one assist and Miles Liberati and Mark Shoemaker the other goals for the Battalion, 6-6-2 for 14 points, third in the Central Division. In a stellar showing, goaltender Jake Kment also made 30 saves through overtime.

In his first appearance of the season, Kment backstopped the Troops to a 3-2 overtime win over the visiting Ottawa 67’s on Thursday night. He lost for the first time in 10 career games and is 7-0-1.

“You’ve got to give the kid credit,” Battalion coach Stan Butler said of Kment, who signed with the club last Jan. 5. “I thought he played really well. I thought all the kids played hard. We’ve got three out of four points so far this week, and now we have to get home for Sunday.”

The Battalion faces the Niagara IceDogs at Memorial Gardens at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Rangers carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, and Kment kept North Bay close over the first half of the frame, producing key stops on Gustaf Franzen, Joseph Garreffa, Frank Hora and Dmitrii Sergeev.

Kment’s fine work paid off when Shoemaker struck on the power play at 17:07, his shot from the left-wing circle beating Carty, who was screened by Kyle Potts. Mike Amadio also assisted on defenceman Shoemaker’s second goal of the season.

Both teams had excellent chances in a back-and-forth overtime period. Kment produced two outstanding saves against Jeremy Bracco off a two-man breakaway with Ryan MacInnis, and MacInnis later failed to corral a bouncing puck at the right post with an open net. Carty denied Cam Dineen and Amadio and slid to block a blast from Baird bolting to the net on a promising chance.

Robinson scored on the first shot in the shootout before Kment stopped Bracco and MacInnis. Amadio, Brett McKenzie and Justin Brazeau failed to beat Carty, who was helped off the ice after appearing to suffer an injury in the postgame celebration.

Kohn opened the scoring at 9:40 of the first period, snapping a pass from Darby Llewellyn over Kment’s glove from deep on the left wing.

Baird tied it with his first goal of the season at 15:52 as he drove to the net and chipped a Brett Hargrave pass over Carty. MacKenzie earned the second assist.

Robinson restored Kitchener’s lead a minute later when he swept the rebound of a Jacob Cascagnette shot around Kment.

Liberati made it 2-2 at 9:00 of the second period after racing up the middle and firing a shot from the high slot that Carty blocked. Liberati gathered his own rebound and beat Carty high to the stick side from a sharp angle to the goaltender’s right. Baird collected the lone assist on defenceman Liberati’s fifth goal.

Robinson scored on the power play at 13:45, snapping a wrister from the slot past the blocker of Kment, who appeared to be screened.

The Troops outshot Kitchener 12-6 in the period, but Kment scrambled to turn away a Kohn attempt at the lip of the crease in the third minute and kicked away a Mike Davies drive off the right wing in the ninth. Kment’s biggest stop came in the 18th minute when he sprawled to deny Franzen from the deep slot.

BATTALION BULLETS: Attendance at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was 6,772 … Amadio has an eight-game points streak during which he has scored seven goals and added five assists for 12 points. A goal against Ottawa moved Amadio into sole possession of 17th place on the franchise points list, ahead of Nick Paul … North Bay is 1-3-2 on the road. Kitchener is 5-0-2 at home … Each team went 1-for-4 on the power play … The Battalion, which dressed 17 skaters, one below the limit, was without Austin Kosack, Kyle Wood, David Sherman, Zach Bratina, Brady Lyle and Zach Shankar, who completed a two-game suspension for a slewfoot in a 4-2 road loss last Sunday to the Mississauga Steelheads … Jake Smith, scratched against Ottawa with an upper-body injury, backed up Kment … MacInnis, who scored four goals in a 7-2 thumping Thursday night of the host Peterborough Petes, saw the end of a four-game goals streak and a six-game points streak during which he had nine goals and seven assists for 16 points … Kitchener’s last loss was a 3-2 setback in overtime at Mississauga on Oct. 11 … Overager Robinson, a former member of the Battalion, has played seven games this season, recording points in all of them. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points.

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