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Not a good Knight for the Rangers against London

The coaching staff and players agree: What is happening is not acceptable
matthew-sop-jan-2023
Rangers forward Matthew Sop

The onus has been put squarely on the Kitchener Rangers players. 

"We have good players here. It's on them, at some point, to do something." said head coach Chris Dennis after the London Knights clocked Kitchener 7-3 Tuesday. 

"It's not fair to our coaches right now," said captain Francesco Pinelli. "They give us all the resources we need. We have to be better (...) It's not acceptable." 

After finally snapping a seven-game losing streak in Saginaw Sunday, the Rangers were back to their old ways. 

They really shouldn't have been, though. A date with the Knights is usually a pretty easy game to get motivated for, especially after London blanked the Rangers 4-0 at The Aud earlier this season. 

Instead, the Green Machine jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period after another slow start for Kitchener, only registering four shots in the opening frame. 

So, Chris Dennis, how does a team have a slow start, coming off a win, against your arch rival? 

"There's no excuse for our start (...) That's a question for those guys in the room," said the head coach. "You can ask me questions. You can ask Mac (General Manager Mike McKenzie) - we have a good team. We know that." 

"At some point our best players need to answer, and we didn't do that until later in the game. Even later in the game, it's a three-goal game and we get a two minute 5-on-3. We needed to get one there (...) We had enough chances tonight to turn it into one of those ridiculous 8-7 Junior hockey games, and we didn't score." 

"It's our consistency," said Pinelli. "Sometimes we look good and sometimes we come out and look like this. It's really frustrating."

Marcus Vandenberg earned the start in goal, after winning the game in Saginaw Sunday. He didn't get much help. 

Dennis is challenging his players, yet again. 

"I'd like to hear what they have to say," said Dennis of his plans for team meetings this week. 

"Something clicked in Saginaw and it's back again. This up and down we're in, we're out, we need to find an answer for this. It's gone on too long." 

It doesn't get any easier. The Rangers host the OHL-leading Ottawa 67's Friday, before travelling to Sarnia to see the Sting Saturday, and end the weekend with a visit to London, Sunday. 

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