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Latest loss leaves sour taste in mouth of Rangers

The Kitchener Rangers have lost three in a row, but the latest one stings the most.
matt-sop-2022
Matt Sop

The Kitchener Rangers are in the midst of a losing streak.

The latest was their first blanking of the season. The London Knights scored three goals in the second period, and romped the Rangers 4-0, handing the Rangers their third straight defeat.

But there were plenty of positives to take away from the game.

“I thought it was a decent game for us” said head coach Chris Dennis. “We need to score goals, obviously, but we limited some chances. We gave him some big ones at the end of the second and that ended up costing us the game.”

It wasn't like other losses this season – Sudbury, Erie and Guelph – they played the right way. The Rangers were still without Mitchell Martin (expected back late-January), and Francesco Pinelli who was serving the first of a three-game suspension.

“It's not the result we want, but the game didn't get away from us,” said Dennis. “These guys are digging in and I hope they're disappointed because it's not working for us right now (...) We're trying, we're competing, we're doing it, we're down bodies. They still wanted it; they're still competing for one another.”

The Knights, winners in seven of their last nine games, were up 2-0 in the second period, when Kitchener was granted, a penalty shot.

Fans were wondering what was going on, when it looked like Filip Mesar was getting ready to take the shot, but it ended up being Carson Rehkopf – both good options, if you're asking this author. So, Chris Dennis, what went into that decision?

“I wasn't allowed to use Mesar at that moment because he was not on the ice.” Simple enough.

Rehkopf was stopped, and in one swooping motion, so were the comeback hopes. Thirty-nine seconds later, the Knights went up 3-0.

Late in the game, Ty Hollett responded to a dangerous check from London's Connor Federkow by dropping the gloves but was handed a match penalty. The match distinction comes with an automatic two-game suspension but is reviewable by the league.

If Hollett is unavailable for Sunday's game against the Erie Otters, it would leave the Rangers real short on defence after losing Roman Schmidt in the first shift of the game, because of another Knights check.

The Otters come into The Aud, Sunday, winning the previous two meetings between the Midwest Division rivals.

The Harris Law Pregame Show begins at 1:30 p.m. with puck-drop scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

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