Rangers look to keep offense rolling on the road in Niagara

The Kitchener Rangers have long put their two-game losing skid behind them and showed the Ontario Hockey League that they can score with the rest of them.

In a bounce back effort last Friday and Sunday on home ice against the Barrie Colts and Windsor Spitfires, the Rangers scored 19 goals over the span of those two games.

Paul Fixter is the colour commentator for Kitchener Rangers hockey on CityNews 570 and he said it’s good the team has a midweek game to try and keep that offense rolling.

“I think the Rangers are really looking forward to getting right back to playing a game coming off the weekend they just had,” he said. “Momentum is a wonderful thing in any business especially in sports when you’ve been winning [and by a large margin].”

Fixter said that you’re not always going to be scoring tons of goals and winning by large margins in the OHL.

“I think the focus for the coaching staff will be still emphasizing the importance of playing well defensively,” he said. “When you play well defensively, inexplicably it can lead to offense. They’ve done such a good job in the defensive zone, they’ve taken advantage of their chances. Don’t get away from what you’re doing and I think the coaches will have to remind them that everybody is motivated in this league.”

Fixter believes the IceDogs will be coming into Wednesday night’s game motivated to try and upset the Rangers after earning their first win of the season.

Niagara shutout the Kingston Frontenacs 4-0 last Saturday. IceDogs goaltender Owen Flores made 18 saves for his first shutout of the season.

Fixter said the record for the IceDogs isn’t as bad as it looks at 1-3-2-0.

“I think this league is full of surprises. When teams are expected to beat other teams, it doesn’t happen and vice-versa. That’s one of the great things about this league is the uncertainty of the players,” said Fixter. “Part of that is just the youthfulness and they forget past performances so fast that they move on to the next game. That’s dangerous because if Kitchener doesn’t realize what’s made them successful, that could hurt them. Niagara will forget some of the bad losses they’ve had. Mind you, two of those losses have been in overtime so they’ve been in games. They’re hanging around and when they are hanging around that gives them a chance.”

Former Rangers goaltender Marcus Vandenberg is now a member of the IceDogs and he will see familiar Rangers teammates for the first time since being traded in the summer.

Rangers forward Carson Rehkopf was named OHL Player of the Week. He notched five goals and three assists for eight points in two games. The Seattle Kraken prospect is third in the league in overall points with 13. He also shares the league lead in goals scored with seven along with teammate Adrian Misaljevic and London Knights forward Denver Barkey.

CityNews 570 will have the game for you starting with the Harris Law pre-game show Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. with Mike Farwell and Paul Fixter.

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