So nice, Evan McEneny did it twice. Well, sort of.
The Kitchener Rangers blueliner scored what appeared to be his first ever OHL goal only to find out that teammate Matt Puempel tipped in his shot.
But the defenceman made up for it later in Friday's 3-1 win over Erie by potting a goal a period later for his first in 64 games.
That's No. 2 on the right, being congratulated the first time around. Call it a dress rehearsal.
No rest for the Rangers. They're back at it tonight in Owen Sound. The Lumley is one of the toughest rinks to win in. I'd put it second in the league behind the barn in Niagara.
A win tonight puts the Rangers in a tie with the London Knights for first overall in the western conference. If they win and Barrie losses, they'll be first in the OHL. It took a while, but the familiar power house teams are right back at the top of the league.
Kitchener's lines for tonight:
Matt Puempel-Josh Sterk-Eric Ming
Ben Thomson-Matia Marcantuoni-Tobias Rieder
Justin Bailey-Domenic Alberga-Nick Czinder
Darby Llewellyn-Curtis Meighan-Matt Schmalz
Ryan Murphy-Ben Fanelli
Max Iafrate-Evan McEneny
Cory Genovese-Owen Stewart
John Gibson (11-3) goes in goal.
Gemel Smith-Dan Catenacci-Cam Brace
Jaden Lindo-Joe Blandisi-Zach Nastasiuk
Gilbert Gabor-Holden Cook-Kurtis Gabriel
Dan Zweep-Stefano Pezzetta-Devon Rymarchuk
Keevin Cutting-Jake Dotchin
Chris Bigras-Nathan Chiarlitti
Kurtis MacDermid-Brayden Rose
Jordan Binnington (11-3-1-2) starts.
As for Faksa, he is operating at 70 per cent.
All of his bloodwork came back negative for the various conditions and the team says he is battling the flu. He's in a contagious stage still and low on energy.
"Trainers have told me that if we continue to push him hard we may go one step forward, two steps back," said Rangers' GM/coach Steve Spott. "He’s pretty ill right now. We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing."
That being said, he's expected to dress Sunday vs. London at the Aud.
Meanwhile, it's good news for Jared Gilbert. The blueliner (concussion) is symptom free and ready to begin his return to play protocol. That means he may be able to return next weekend.
- Props to Owen Sound for the one-sided win, but they sure ride a fine line. They kept letting Kitchener back in the game by taking bad penalties. Luckily for them, the Rangers PP is brutal at the moment (0-for-8 tonight).
- John Gibson made a beautiful pass from his goal line to teammate Nick Czinder who was at Owen Sound's blue line to send the big man in on a breakaway. Why not? No one else was creating much offence.
- Speaking of Czinder, he was looking good in the opening minutes when he parked himself in front of Attack goalie Jordan Binnington. Would like to see more of that.
- Ryan Murphy misplayed a puck on the point on the PP and Owen Sound made him pay by scoring a shortie for 3-0 lead.
- Brent Pedersen was a healthy scratch. Part of the rotation of guys GM/coach Steve Spott would like to get going offensively.
- There are no video screens at the Lumley, so I didn't see a replay. But it looked like Owen Sound scored in the second period, but the refs blew the play dead.
- German national hockey team coaches were in attendance to watch Tobias Rieder in advance of the world junior hockey championships. Rieder looks to be headed to Europe Dec. 10. He'll join Spott, Radek Faksa, John Gibson and possibly Ryan Murphy and Matt Puempel. Scary to think of the hole that group will leave behind.
- If you're counting, Cory Genovese is up to three fights. And I believe he's won all three.
JB's top three Rangers: Ben Thomson, Cory Genovese, Matia Marcantuoni