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Peterborough Petes pop Blueshirts

The Kitchener Rangers dropped their second-straight game since returning from the Holiday break
Reid Valade in action against Peterborough Dec. 30, 2022

It was a special teams game, and the Peterborough Petes' power play proved pivotal.

For the second game in a row, it was a parade to the penalty box for both teams. The Petes potted one more power play goal, and dropped the Rangers 6-2.  

“It becomes another weird game. I didn't like some of the penalty calls,” said head coach Chris Dennis. “I didn't like our power play, early. They got two late, which was nice. Can't give up three penalty-killing goals, whether you're doing a good job or not. You need to find a way to kill them.”

Roman Schmidt was handed a five-minute match penalty in the first period, for slew footing.

It was a call the Rangers felt shouldn't have been a Match, which comes with an automatic two-game suspension, if the league doesn't review the call and change it. The officials explained their reasoning to the coach.

“The explanation was, 'they want the league calling it that way.' They felt they had no choice,” said Dennis. “I thought they could have just called it a trip, which it was. I had no problem with the penalty, I'm just not sure the spirit of that is a slew foot.”

Kitchener scored two goals with the man-advantage, but both came in the third period with the Rangers already down 5-0.  

“We're slow. Weren't deliberate. We're not executing. We have no zip to it,” said Dennis of his power play. “Finally we simplified, put some pucks on the net, banged in some rebounds and looked dangerous.”

“We talked about it after the second period. They came out and did the job in the third, so I'm proud of them for that.”

In the Rangers six-game winning streak before the holidays, the power play was 8-for-23 converting on just shy of 35 per cent of their chances.

Marco Costantini was pulled from the game Friday, after the fifth goal, making 18 saves. Marcus Vandenberg stopped all six shots he faced, and will get the start in Windsor, Saturday afternoon.

The Rangers brought out 7,192 fans on the penultimate day of the year. It was their largest crowd since Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in a game versus the London Knights. 

Kitchener's final game of 2022 happens in Windsor, against the Spitfires. Puck drop scheduled for 2:05 p.m. with the pre-game show starting at 1:30 p.m. on City News 570. 

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