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A rare victory for Barrie in Kitchener

Barrie wins at The Aud for the first time since January 31, 2014

It was January 31, 2014.

Ben Fanelli was wearing the Rangers 'C,' Jordan DeKort was manning the Kitchener goal and rookie Nick Magyar put up his 14th goal of the year, en route to a 20-goal first-year campaign.

On that night, Brendan Lemieux (now with the NHL's New York Rangers) scored the winner as the Barrie Colts won at The Aud 6-4.

That was the last victory for the Colts in Kitchener until Friday night, and wouldn't you know it, Barrie beat Kitchener by the very same score this time around.

Ironically, time travel was on the mind of Rangers coach Mike McKenzie, who quoted Austin Powers by saying they've "lost their mojo," and need to find a way to get it back.

Particularly, he wasn't too thrilled about their effort on the defensive side of things, and didn't hide how he felt about the seven that line up on the blue line.

"They're not moving the puck well, they're making bad reads," he said, "It's not just one or two guys, it's all of them."

"They're pinching when they shouldn't be.  They're backing up when they should be pinching.  It's lots of poor decision-making, and they're really not moving the puck very well, at all.  They're hanging on to it for too long, and part of that falls on the forwards too.  There has to be someone to move it to, and our forwards aren't working hard enough, and it's making our D look bad.  Overall, it's not just our D, I think it's the whole group."

A group he says played "average at best for most of the game, and below average for parts of it too."

"It's a bad loss.  It's not the way we wanted to bounce back (after Tuesday's 6-2 setback to London)," McKenzie added, "It's not good enough, that's for sure.  It's a really disappointing loss."

Tyson Foerster had two goals and two assists, while Evan Vierling put up a three-point effort.

For Kitchener, their rookies had a night to remember on the stat sheet.

Francesco Pinelli tallied three helpers, and Declan McDonnell potted his 20th of the season, becoming the first Ranger rook to reach that milestone since Magyar in 2013-14.

The past reflecting the present once again on this occasion.

McDonnell's power play goal opened the scoring five minutes in, but Vierling tied it before the end of the opening frame.

Aidan Brown and Ethan Cardwell scored 89 seconds apart early in the second to take the two-goal lead, before Mike Petizian and Arber Xhekaj (returning from a suspension) equalized by the time the game was 30 minutes old.

Anthony Tabak got Barrie the lead back with a minute to go in the second, putting Barrie in the driver seat going into the third.

The Colts were 18-0 this year when leading after 40 minutes, and they continued that run by shutting things down in the final frame.

But it didn't come without the home side making things interesting.

Foerster got his first of two (more on that in a second) on the man advantage, but Jonathan Yantsis got his 38th to make it a one-goal game once again with three minutes left.

Foerster's second came as a flat out gift from Vierling, who skated in towards an empty net and made a drop pass to his linemate to ice it.

For local lookers, Waterloo's Nathan Allensen had an assist, and Cambridge's Jet Greaves made 27 saves in the win.

Lucas Pfeil also made 27 saves, registering the loss and suddenly the Rangers have lost two straight and fall five points back of London, who won 4-1 over Sarnia.

Kitchener is in Windsor for a Sunday matinee.

Pregame starts at 1:30 p.m. on 570 NEWS.

Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

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