A pair of 2015 Leafs draft picks recorded three points apiece in a 6-5 shootout win for the Sarnia Sting over the Kitchener Rangers on Friday night.
Nikita Korostelev scored two goals, an assist, and a shootout tally, while Kitchener’s Jeremy Bracco notched a goal and two assists in his first game of the 2016-17 OHL season.
Korostelev’s second goal of the night was a stunner. He nutmegged Rangers defenceman Doug Blaisdell at the blueline followed by a pull-through-the-legs move around Joseph Garreffa before wiring a backhand top shelf:
Bracco’s goal was pretty in its own right. Late in the third with his team trailing 5-4, he picked up a loose puck to the right of the net and smoothly deposited a wraparound past Sting goaltender Justin Fazio. His first assist of the night was a good pass to the high man on the play, Adam Mascherin, after opening his hips and surveying the ice off the rush. Bracco and Mascherin, a second round pick of the Panthers in 2016, assisted on each other’s goals on Friday, and the two should wage significant damage together this season in Kitchener.
Korostelev is off to a lightning hot start to his 2016-17 season with six goals and nine points through four games, placing him seventh in OHL scoring with fewer games played than all six players above him after Friday night’s games. While he experienced a concerning downtick in his numbers in 2015-16, Korostelev now has 19 points in his last 11 regular season games dating back to last April.