Kitchener - September 1, 2013 - The Kitchener Rangers scored five unanswered goals to earn a 5-2 exhibition victory over the North Bay Battalion on Sunday. Rookie Doug Blaisdell led the team with two goals and netminder Tyson Teichmann made 41 saves to secure the win.
Brett McKenzie opened the scoring early in the first period, capitalizing on the Battalion’s 5-on-3 power play opportunity. McKenzie’s goal was his first with North Bay, who selected the centre with their first round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection. Mark Raycroft and Brandon Robinson picked up the assists on the play.
The Battalion extended their lead to 2-0 at the 8:23 mark of the opening period with an unassisted effort from second year forward Mathew Santos. The Etobicoke, ON native scored 15 points in 57 regular season games last season.
Rookie Doug Blaisdell’s first OHL exhibition goal put the Rangers on the board 39 seconds later. The Michigan-born rearguard collected the puck after a faceoff in Battalion territory and fired a long shot that beat netminder Brendan O’Neill. His first tally in Kitchener colours was assisted by fellow freshman Mason Kohn.
The Rangers quickly drew even at 2-2, jumping on a two-man advantage just past the halfway mark of the period. Veteran defenceman Evan McEneny’s unassisted goal was his first of the preseason, picking up on his offensive contributions from last season, when he scored a career high 34 points.
The Battalion out-shot Kitchener 18-11 through the opening 20 minutes of play.
Kegan Blasby’s first goal with the Rangers gave the team its first lead of the contest early in the second period. With Kitchener on the power play, James Mense-Dietrich set up Blasby in front of O’Neill to put the Rangers up 3-2. Third year blueliner Jared Gilbert also collected an assist on the play at 1:33.
North Bay continued to lead shots on goal in the middle frame with a 15-7 advantage.
Blaisdell’s second of the game put the Rangers up by two goals in the final period of play. First round pick Mike Davies earned his first preseason point with an assist. The second helper was credited to sophomore Darby Llewellyn.
Kitchener quickly extended its lead, jumping ahead 5-2 at the 8:31 mark of the third. Iafrate’s shot on the Battalion net was turned aside by O’Neill, but third year forward Josh Sterk was there to collect the rebound and shovel it in the open side of the net. Llewellyn picked up his second assist of the afternoon on the play.
The Rangers out-shot North Bay 16-10 in the final period, but the Battalion finished the game with a 43-34. Tyson Teichmann made 41 saves in his first exhibition season with the Rangers.
1. NB B. McKenzie, (B. Robinson, M. Raycroft), 3:04 (PP)
1. NB M. Santos, (unassisted) 8:23
1. KIT D. Blaisdell, (M. Kohn), 9:02
1. KIT E. McEneny (unassisted), 11:44 (PP)
2. KIT K. Blasby, (J. Mense-Detrich, J. Gilbert), 1:33 (PP)
3. KIT D. Blaisdell, (M. Davies, D. Llewellyn), 6:07 (PP)
3. KIT J. Sterk, (M. Iafrate, D. Llewellyn), 8:31
The Rangers return to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Friday, September 13 at 7:30pm when they host the Erie Otters in exhibition play. Tickets to Rangers exhibition and home games are available by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, via the internet at www.centre-square.com or in person at the Centre In the Square Box Office or the Kitchener Auditorium Box Office.