Kitchener Rangers fans got their moneys worth at The Aud Tuesday night.
They did everything they could in an exciting game that left most of the 7,135 in attendance going home happy. But Kitch just couldn’t collect the W as Serron Noel scored 41 seconds into overtime and the Oshawa Generals handed the Blueshirts a 4-3 loss.
For the Teddy Bear Toss, the total was announced in the third period at 10,630, with the goal scored by Nick McHugh with 11:26 left in the second period.
Last year, just under 11,000 bears were collected.
Oshawa showed plenty of life in the first, out shooting the Rangers 16-4 in the opening 20 minutes but a Joe Garreffa partial breakaway was as close as Kitchener would get to having the fur fly.
About 1:51 into the second, Serron Noel capitalized on the counter attack and beat goaltender Luke Richardson with a deke crashing the net. Under three minutes later, Danil Antropov one-timed a shot home to make it 2-0 visitors.
The Rangers came back, and McHugh converted on a pass from Joe Garreffa to make it 2-1 and the bears flew.
The goal and the delay to clean up the bears seemed to give the home side life, as they continued to press the action.
But Oshawa starter Kyle Keyser --- a Boston Bruins prospect who holds the best save percentage in the OHL and is second in goals against average --- was stingy. He even stopped McHugh on a breakaway in the final seconds of the period.
Just over two minutes into the third, former Ranger Giovanni Vallati struck against his former team, a slap shot from the point on the power play.
However, Donovan Sebrango finished off a pretty passing play with a tap in on the door step a couple minutes later for his first OHL goal.
And with 42.3 seconds left in regulation, and Richardson on the bench, a shot from the top of the right wing circle by Rickard Hugg goes in to send the crowd into a frenzy, and the game to extra time.
In the OT session, Greg Meireles was stopped on an early breakaway chance. And then with the play carried into the Kitchener zone, Noel finished it on a great individual effort just 41 seconds in to collect his second of the night and the extra point for the visitors.
Richardson stopped 37 shots in the loss, while Keyser made 34 saves (30 in the second and third period combined) to get the win.
The Rangers hit the road north for a pair of games to finish off their pre-Christmas schedule. They play in North Bay and Sudbury Thursday and Friday night.
Broadcast time on 570 NEWS on Thursday is 6:35 p.m.
Thank you @N_Mchugh12 🐻🚨🙌— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) December 12, 2018
He delivers the biggest #TeddyBearToss goal in the #OHL this season as @OHLRangers fans donate more than 🔟0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ stuffed toys for kids and families in need 👏 pic.twitter.com/UckUY50cff
Here's where the bears went once they left the ice, cage filling up quick! (The truck and van load had more for this year's total!) pic.twitter.com/BCmLseJWV2— Mark Pare (@MarkLPare) December 12, 2018