Rangers blank Barrie 8-0 Friday on Alumni night

If there was one way to put two losses behind you after being outscored 13-4 last week against Owen Sound and Saginaw, Friday night was an offensive display waiting to happen.

The Rangers last played Sat. Oct. 7 in Saginaw and lost that game 8-2. They bounced back after having six days off from games on Friday night with an 8-0 win over the Barrie Colts.

The offense was clicking on all cylinders at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium where the Rangers dominated every facet of the game.

Carson Rekhopf scored three times in the third period totaling four points on the night while Matthew Sop also equaled his teammate in the points department with two goals and two assists.

Rookie Tanner Lam scored his first career OHL goal in front of the home crowd.

Jussi Ahokas said post-game, the team bounced back nicely after a rough few losses.

“Really proud and the boys played well. I think we played solid 5-on-5,” he said. “The small things of the game we did well. Good back checks, our defenseman were pinching, we’re taking away the time and space from the opponent. We’re also attacking well.”

Ahokas added his team was smart with the puck for the full 60 minutes.

“If you’re smart with the puck, that’s usually when good things happen,” said Ahokas. “Today, it looked good.”

Rehkopf said it was nice to score the goals but he thought his team put a good effort forward.

“It’s definitely nice, it’s definitely something that’s fun to do. I think we had a great game even if I didn’t score those at the end of the game. I think we were super happy with the effort we put forward especially after a tough weekend last weekend so I was super happy with the group today.”

Jackson Parsons made 18 stops for his second shutout of the season earning his third win of the campaign.

It was also a night where the Rangers brought back some familiar Rangers alumni. Gabriel Landeskog, Ben Fanelli, Ben Thomson and Tyler Randell were all on hand at the Auditorium. Landeskog, who’s recovering from an injury won the Stanley Cup in 2022 with the Colorado Avalanche. Landeskog was a guest during the 2nd intermission of Kitchener Rangers hockey on CityNews 570.

“It feels like I’m back at home,” said Landeskog. “Honestly, it really does. I brought my dad out for this because I didn’t want him to miss it. It’s a special place for myself obviously but for my old man as well. He came in quite a bit when I was here for the two years. It’s hard not to fall in love with this place. It meant so much to me, it did so much for me both as a hockey player but also as a person. It’s kind of where I learned how to stand on my own two feet so it feels like I’m back home.”

Landeskog played for the Rangers from 2009-2011. His family joined him on the ice at the start of the game for the ceremonial puck drop.

“It’s very special. I tell people that I’m a family man that plays hockey, I’m not a hockey player that has a family and I think there’s a big difference there. They mean the world to me and obviously I’ve been blessed to spend a lot of time with them here the last couple of years. It’s been the blessing in disguise with the knee injury I’m going through,” he said.

The Rangers are back on home ice Sunday when they take on the Windsor Spitfires from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Catch the Harris Law pre-game show on CityNews 570 at 1:30 p.m.

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