Phil Varone continued his mastery of the Kitchener Rangers with a three-point night as the Erie Otters (20-18-1-1) picked up a 4-2 win over the Rangers Friday night at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Mike Catenacci scored a power play goal 8:50 into the contest to give the Rangers an early advantage. Varone tied it up for the Otters with his 15th goal of the season at 15:28 after streaking through the slot and putting a backhander over the left pad of Brandon Maxwell to tie the game at one going into the first intermission.
The Otters went off to a strong start in the second period, as Shawn Szydlowski scored 2:21 into the frame to give Erie the lead. Szydlowski fired a shot from the right circle just under the crossbar for his 20th goal of the season.
David Broll increased the Otter lead to two at 4:57 with a goal in his third straight game. Varone tracked down the puck in the right corner and found Broll in the slot, where he ripped a shot past the glove side of Maxwell for his eighth goal of the season. The Otters outshot the Rangers, 14-10, in the second period as they took a 3-1 lead going into the third.
Cody Sol put the Rangers within one midway through the third, but went from hero to zero quickly after taking a vicious checking to the head penalty on Phil Varone, setting up a five-minute power play for Erie. While the Otters couldn’t convert, Evan McEneny took a late double-minor for high sticking to give the Otters another man advantage. The Otters were able to convert this time, as Greg McKegg put home an empty net goal after an unselfish pass by Varone with 10.2 seconds remaining.
Varone’s three-point night gives him six goals and two assists in three games against his former teammates this season. Shawn Szydlowski (1g, 1a) and Anthony Luciani (2a) also had multiple-point nights for the Otters, while Ramis Sadikov was named third star after making 34 saves for Erie.
The Otters return home Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. host the Kingston Frontenacs on Cancer Awareness Night, presented by Sprickman Heating & Cooling, Burhenn’s Pharmacy and Hertel & Brown Physical Therapy. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, the Civic Center Box Office, online at ottershockey.com, or by calling 814-452-4857.