Kitchener - December 10, 2014 - Brent Pedersen scored a pair of goals and added an assist to lead the Kitchener Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Erie Otters on Tuesday night. Liam Maaskant scored the teddy bear goal in the Rangers' 20th Annual Teddy Bear Toss, which collected a team-record 9,882 stuffed animals.
Liam Maaskant sent the teddy bears flying early, opening the scoring just 72 seconds into the first period. Darby Llewellyn set up the special tally with a pass from behind the net that connected with the captain near the blueline. Maaskant's long shot soared past Erie starter Daniel Dekoning, bringing the former Otters' total on the year to three goals.
The goal sparked a cascade of 9,882 bears, a new record for the Teddy Bear Toss. Over the past 20 years, Rangers fans have generously donated 111,154 stuffed animals to local charitable groups.
A power play goal from veteran Brent Pedersen pushed Kitchener to a 2-0 lead near the midway point of the frame. The Carolina Hurricanes prospect tipped a shot between the pads of Dekoning for his ninth of the year. Frank Hora earned an assist on the play, his second point in as many games. The second helper was credited to defenceman Thomas Welsh, his first point since joining the Rangers last month in a trade with the Mississauga Steelheads.
The Otters cut their deficit in half late in the frame, capitalizing on a two-man power play opportunity. Two-time Ontario Hockey League Rookie of the Month Alex DeBrincat picked up his league-leading 24th of the season, beating Rangers starter Dawson Carty. Dylan Strome and Nick Baptiste picked up assists on the goal at 18:18.
The Rangers restored their two-goal advantage in the final minute of the first period. Winger Brandon Robinson snapped a shot through traffic over Dekoning, his tenth tally of the season. Import forward Gustaf Franzen and rearguard Max Iafrate each earned a helper on the play.
Kitchener led shots on goal 13-8 after 20 minutes.
Overage blueliner Kurtis MacDermid scored early in the second, bringing the Otters within one goal. Baptiste picked up his second assist of the night, sending Patrick Murphy through the neutral zone with a long pass. The long time Erie defenceman shoveled a backwards pass to MacDermid in front of the net, helping the Sauble Beach, ON native pot his fifth of the season.
The Rangers responded just 13 seconds later, jumping ahead 4-2. Mascherin carried the puck to the Erie net and slipped a shot under Dekoning for his fourth of the season and second against the Otters.
Pedersen's second of the night pushed Kitchener to a three-goal advantage. The Arthur, ON native corralled Ryan MacInnis' pass from the wing, spun and fired a puck that snuck past the Otters netminder. Justin Bailey also picked up an assist on the play, Pedersen's tenth goal of the year.
The Otters narrowed the gap near just past the halfway point, when the puck bounced off the glass behind the Rangers net and on to the stick of Nick Betz. The fourth year winger lifted a shot past Carty's glove to record his 13th of the season. Troy Donnay and Murphy earned the helpers on the goal, which narrowed the Rangers' lead to 5-3.
Two goals late in the frame sent Kitchener to the dressing room with a 7-3 advantage on the scoreboard. Bailey buried his team-leading 16th of the season with less than three minutes to play, pouncing on his own rebound in the crease and tapping it over the goal line. Llewellyn and MacInnis each picked up their second point of the night with the assists.
With 61 seconds left before the intermission, Dekoning stymied Pedersen, but couldn't stop MacInnis from batting in the rebound for the eighth goal of his sophomore season. Bailey was also credited with an assist on the play, giving all three forwards three points on the night.
The Rangers out-shot the Otters 20-8 in the second period.
Rookie winger Patrick Fellows netted his third of the year with eight minutes to play, cutting Erie's deficit to three goals. The Toronto, ON native picked up the puck at the Rangers blueline and raced to the net, chipping a shot past Carty. Donnay's assist was his second point of the game.
Kitchener led shots on goal 19-8 in the third, and finished with a 52-24 overall advantage. The victory improves the Rangers to 2-1-0-1 against the Otters this season.
1. KIT L. Maaskant, (3) (D. Llewellyn), 1:12
1. KIT B. Pedersen, (9) (F. Hora, T. Welsh), 8:54 (PP)
1. ER A. DeBrincat, (24) (D. Strome, N. Baptiste), 18:18 (PP)
1. KIT B. Robinson, (10) (G. Franzen, M. Iafrate), 19:28
2. ER K. MacDermid, (5) (P. Murphy, N. Baptiste), 0:52
2. KIT A. Mascherin, (4) (unassisted), 1:05
2. KIT B. Pedersen, (10) (R. MacInnis, J. Bailey), 6:36
2. ER N. Betz, (13) (T. Donnay, P. Murphy), 10:08
2. KIT J. Bailey, (16) (D. Llewellyn, R. MacInnis), 17:26
2. KIT R. MacInnis, (8) (B. Pedersen, J. Bailey), 18:59
3. ER P. Fellows, (3) (unassisted), 12:00
1. KIT - 16 Brent Pedersen
2. KIT - 95 Justin Bailey
3. KIT - 72 Ryan MacInnis
The next Rangers home game is Friday, December 12 when we host the Sarnia Sting at 7:30pm.