OWEN SOUND, Ont. - Defenceman Ryan Murphy set up three goals in his second game since returning from the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes to lead the Kitchener Rangers to a 5-3 win over the Owen Sound Attack in Ontario Hockey League action Saturday.
The Rangers defeated the Attack on Friday night in Kitchener by an identical 5-3 score to sweep an early season home-and-home set between the Midwest Division rivals.
Brandon Francsco, Tobias Rieder, Ben Thomson, Michael Catenacci and Andrew Crescenzi scored for Kitchener (5-3-0).
Daniel Catenacci had two goals and an assist for Owen Sound (5-7-0), which has lost three straight. Team captain Mike Halmo also scored.
Rangers netminder Frankey Palazzese turned aside 35 of 37 shots in the win, while Scott Stajcer, playing in his first home game since being returned by the New York Rangers last Sunday, made 39 saves in a losing cause.
Kitchener went 2 for 6 with the man advantage, while Owen Sound went 1 for 3.
Francisco opened the scoring when he snuck out from the side of the net and tucked it backhand between the legs of Stajcer at 8:16 of the first period. Crescenzi and Murphy contributed the assists.
Rieder rifled a one-timer from the top of the circle only 1:14 later to provide the Rangers with an early 2-0 advantage.
Kitchener extended its lead to 3-0 at 1:29 of the second period while short handed, with Thomson taking advantage of an Owen Sound breakdown deep in their own end.
Daniel Catenacci responded for the Attack 27 seconds later with a top shelf howitzer over Palazzese's blocker.
With both Brett Appio and Matt Petgrave penalized for the Attack at the midway point of the second period, Kitchener regained its three-goal lead while on a 5-on-3 advantage. Michael Catenacci tapped in a nifty cross-crease pass from Murphy. Rieder also collected an assist on the play.
Still in the second period, Daniel Catenacci cut Owen Sound's deficit to two at 18:02 when the Buffalo Sabres prospect snapped an Artur Gavrus feed from the right circle to make it a 4-2 game.
However, the Rangers went ahead 5-2 when a floating shot from the point by Crescenzi, who enjoyed a three-point night against the Attack on Friday, found its way behind a screened Stajcer.
Halmo rounded out the scoring while on the power play with 41 seconds remaining in regulation.