Wyatt Kuznik celebrates in the air after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime of Saturday's championship game against the Penguins.
It took two halves and nearly two overtime periods, but the Rangers held on to their reputation as the Bantam Elite League’s top Major team with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Penguins in Saturday’s championship game.
The game’s teeter-totter never tilted heavily one way or the other until the very end, as neither team ever held more than a two-goal lead over the other. The Rangers scored three times in the first 13 minutes of the opening half, with Sam Wooten, Wyatt Kuznik, and Gunnar Conboy helping the team to a 3-1 lead. However, Mick Martalock pulled the Penguins back within one less than two minutes after Conboy’s goal, sending the game into the second frame with the verdict very much in doubt.
Leo Stebbins and Alex Monosmith scored just over three minutes apart early in the second half, giving the Penguins a 4-3 lead. The contest turned into a dump-and-chase fest for nearly the rest of the second half before Jack Kirkevold polished off a highlight-reel worth play on his backhand to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime.
With just over a minute to play in the second extra session, the Rangers’ Liam Grant barreled in on Penguin goaltender Cade Nystrom. To Nystrom’s credit, he stopped Grant’s attempt, but the wily Kuznik happened to be following Grant especially close and popped in the loose puck for the game-winner.
Isaak Adams scored one of the Penguins' four goals in Saturday's loss to the Rangers.
The Rangers' Jack Kirkevold tied Saturday's championship with just over four minutes to play in regulation.
Caden Dionne had the game-winning goal for the Penguins in their semifinal win over the North Stars.
Pavel Goryachev was the first to find the back of the net for either team as the North Stars fall just short in the Semifinals.
Sam Wooten had two goals for the Rangers in their Semifinal win over the Kings.
Camden Langfeld had two goals for the Kings in their Semifinal loss to the Rangers.