KITCHENER — Justin Bottineau wasn’t even alleged to be on the ice.
The Kitchener Rangers rookie was a wholesome scratch up till puck drop however was a last-minute alternative for teammate Cameron Mercer, who was yanked after struggling an higher physique damage throughout warmup Friday night time on the Aud.
And it’s a very good factor he acquired in.
In spite of everything, the Burlington native potted his first profession Ontario Hockey League objective in Kitchener’s 4-3 extra time loss to the visiting Saginaw Spirit.
The marker was his first in 48 tilts this season.
“It looks like a weight is simply off my shoulders,” he mentioned. “I simply actually needed to get one. I really feel like I’ve labored onerous at it and been tremendous shut. I’ve hit posts and seen goalies make nice saves on me. It simply felt nice to get one beneath my belt.”
Bottineau says, to his data, he doesn’t have any ancestors from Eire however there was definitely some luck of the Irish on his objective within the St. Patrick’s Day affair.
Or maybe it was fortunate quantity seven — Bottineau wears No. 77 — coming by.
Both means, the play main as much as his second interval tally was fortuitous.
Kitchener’s Francesco Arcuri and a Saginaw participant had been battling for the puck behind the Spirit internet when the puck flipped over the web and Saginaw keeper Andrew Oke and landed proper in entrance of Bottineau who backhanded the biscuit into the cage.
“I’ve all the time been informed to get to the web,” he mentioned. “It’s all form of a blur to me. I don’t bear in mind a lot of it. It occurred so quick. I noticed the goalie shift a bit and I believed I’d attempt to beat him far aspect. It labored.”
Bottineau was figuring out within the health club on the Aud main as much as the lean since he was listed as a scratch. He got here again, took a bathe, placed on his go well with and was headed as much as the press field to look at the sport when assistant coach Dennis Wideman referred to as his title.
“I went again and he informed me I is likely to be in,” mentioned Bottineau. “I used to be simply completely happy to be within the lineup. As a younger man it’s onerous to get in, so no matter alternative I get I’m simply excited to play.”
Bottineau’s backhand knotted the sport 1-1 and captain Francesco Pinelli added a power-play objective for a 2-1 lead on the second interval intermission.
However the Spirit roared again with a pair within the third, and briefly had a 3-2 lead, earlier than Arcuri tied the sport to ship it to extra time.
Saginaw’s Mitch Smith potted the winner 3:15 into further time.
“I believed we had been actually good by 40 minutes,” mentioned Rangers head coach and common supervisor Mike McKenzie. “I believed we had been sharp and we performed onerous and bodily. I believed within the third we let off a bit bit … they usually form of acquired some momentum.”
The loss was Kitchener’s third straight, although the membership did snag a degree for pushing the sport to OT.
It was simply the fourth time this season that the Rangers misplaced when main after two intervals (26-2-2-0).
Bottineau acquired the sport puck and plans so as to add it to a shelf of essential hockey issues he has at his mother and father’ dwelling in Burlington.
And the 17-year-old hopes there are extra targets to return.
“I’m simply going to maintain sticking to the techniques and get to the web with my stick on the ice,” he mentioned.
Kitchener is again at it Saturday when it heads to Owen Sound to face the Assault on the Harry Lumley Bayshore Group Centre earlier than returning dwelling for a matinee in opposition to Kingston on the Aud on Sunday.
JB’s high three Rangers: Francesco Arcuri, Justin Bottineau, Matt Sop
– Arduous to not root for a man like Saginaw coach Chris Lazary. I can bear in mind him from again in his Siskins teaching days, doing interviews within the bowels of Allman Area in Stratford when his then Jr. B membership was within the Cherrey Cup remaining (they received). He’s labored his means up from the GOJHL to Saginaw the place he has the younger Spirit squad rolling.
– Reid Valade served his second recreation of a three-game suspension for a slew foot. He’s eligible to return at dwelling in opposition to Kingston on Sunday.
– F Trent Swick returned to motion for the primary time since Jan. 13. He had been nursing a again damage.
– F Antonino Pugliese has missed the previous eight video games (higher physique).
– Saginaw ahead Michael Misa leads all rookies in scoring with 52 factors 42 video games is just about a lock for OHL rookie of the 12 months. Oshawa F Beckett Sennecke is just three factors again however has performed 15 extra video games. London has a formidable two in F Easton Cowan, who I like and suppose shall be an absolute beast throughout his OHL profession, and “backup” goalie Zach Bowen, he of a 16-4 report.
– Native boy, and Saginaw goalie, Tristan Lennox was sick, in case you had been questioning the place he was on Friday.
– It was bizarre seeing the Aud tinted in London inexperienced. In fact, followers had been greened-up for St. Patrick’s Day but it surely kinda regarded Knight-Ish within the stands.
– There was a brand new first interval intermission recreation — the spelling bee. It noticed contestants get a puck to shoot within the internet for a prize for each phrase spelled appropriately. A fantastic idea however unsure it succeeded. Asking a poor fan to spell “calisthenics” in entrance of everybody was awkward.
– No scoring and no penalties within the first. A uncommon incidence.
– The Rangers had a five-on-three PP for 1:17 within the second and captain Francesco Pinelli scored to make it 2-1 Blueshirts, on the time.
– An enormous win for Saginaw, who’re preventing to carry off 4 groups which can be attempting to get their fourth-place slot. Thought goalie Andrew Oke was unreal and deserved the primary star of the sport. The man made 42 saves.
– The Rangers get a degree however at this stage, I’m unsure it issues. Yeah, they’ll transfer up and different groups can transfer down in the event that they run the desk and foes lose all their video games, or most of them. However at this level, the underside 4 groups are in all probability all going to win as many as they lose till the common season is over. Proper now, it seems like sixth is one of the best Kitchener can do. Seventh or eighth is extra possible.
– The host of subsequent 12 months’s Memorial Cup ought to be introduced within the subsequent month. I’m hoping it goes to Saginaw. I believe it’d be nice to see the tourney in Michigan for a change and, IMO, the Spirit could have one of the best staff among the many 4 hosts (Niagara, Kingston and the Soo) that utilized.
Saginaw 4, Kitchener 3 (OT)
1. Saginaw, Misa 22 (Parekh, Gervais) 10:20 (pp)
2. Kitchener, Bottineau 1 (unassisted) 12:01
3. Kitchener, Pinelli 38 (Rehkopf, Arcuri) 14:18 (pp)
Penalties: Hollett, Package (cross checking) 8:32, Guo, Sag (roughing) 13:09, Forgione, Sag (excessive sticking) 13:52, Bench, Sag (too many males) 16:10, Hollett, Package (checking from behind) 19:07
4. Saginaw, McNamara 8 (Parekh, Hill) 5:01
5. Saginaw, Sapovaliv 26 (Smith, Willis) 13:02 (pp)
6. Kitchener, Arcuri 46 (Zhilkin) 14:12
Penalties: Moore, Package (cross checking) 12:47
7. Saginaw, Smith 14 (Haight) 3:15
Goalies: Costantini, Package (L22-17-4-0), Oke, Sag (W9-8-1-0)
Pictures on objective
Referees: Mike Hamilton, Jason Faist
Linesmen: Dustin McCrank, Dave Pfohl
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