Kitchener Rangers top Erie Otters in overtime to advance in OHL playoffs

Luke Ellinas was the hero on Tuesday night in Erie as the Rangers rookie scored the series winner in overtime to lift Kitchener to a 4-3 victory over the Otters.

The win gave the Rangers a 4-2 series win over Erie, setting up a second-round playoff matchup with the London Knights.

Rangers forward Eduard Šalé opened the scoring just 2:51 into the game as Kitchener was on a five-on-three power play.

One of the Otters who was in the box for the opening goal, Dylan Edwards, evened the score about 10 minutes later to even things up at one apiece.

But just 31 seconds later, Šalé would put the Rangers back in front with his second of the night. He led the Rangers in scoring in the opening round, recording 10 points in the six-game series.

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That was the way things would stand until six minutes into the second period, when Rangers forward Trent Swick would get one past Otters goalie Ben Gaudreau to make the score 3-1.

But the Otters would not go down without a fight as Carey Terrance would get a backhander past Rangers netminder Jackson Parsons to close the gap at the 13:28 mark.

That was the way things would stand until Erie forward Pano Fimis would score with less than three minutes of play to send the game to overtime.

It would take an extra 5:38 to settle the score as Ellinas would beat Gaudreau on a breakaway to allow the Rangers to advance.

Parsons would stop 29 of 32 shots to collect the win while Gaudreau made 25 saves in a losing effort.

The Rangers will open their second-round series on Thursday night at the Budweiser Gardens in London against the OHL’s top regular season squad.

The two sides met six times in the regular season with London coming out on top in four of those contests.

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