A pair of goals 16 seconds apart in the latter half of the third period lead the Kitchener Rangers (27-6-4-0) to a 4-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs (14-22-3-0) in front of 7,118 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
The Rangers opened the scoring at 8:14 of the first period when Jeremy Bracco snapped in a shot from the slot for his 10th of the season. Gustaf Franzen was credited with the lone assist on the play.
Hamilton tied it up in the second period as Niki Petti received a cross ice pass from Matt Luff and then wristed a shot in the top corner at 10:24. Just over a minute later Kitchener restored their lead as Elijah Roberts fired a shot in from the hash mark. The goal at 11:32 of the second period was assisted by Nick Magyar and Mason Kohn. With the Bulldogs on the power play, Trent Fox tied the game 2-2 with less than a second left on the clock, assisted by Brandon Saigeon and Benjamin Gleason. Shots were 16-9 in the second period for a two-period total of 22-21 in favour of the Bulldogs.
The first half of the third period was a tight-knit affair, but Brian Brosnan opened things up with a blast from the left point, beating Hicks at 12:53 to put the Rangers up 3-2. Jacob Cascagnette picked up the lone assist with his drop pass off the draw. Just 16 seconds later the Rangers struck again, this time by Ryan MacInnis, assisted by Bracco and Mascherin at 13:09, making it a 4-2 game, and eventual final.
Shots in the third period were 11-10 in favour of Kitchener, and 33-31 Kitchener, overall.
The Bulldogs were 1-for-3 on the power play, while Kitchener was denied an opportunity with the man advantage on the night.