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Two Rangers' coming back from World Juniors with success

Rangers glad to have Mesar, Hamara back after World Junior tournament

It was a tournament where Kitchener Rangers GM Mike McKenzie had his eyes on for the length of the competition. 

Two of his players were representing their respective countries at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. 

Defenceman for Czechia Tomas Hamara and Slovakian forward Filip Mesar were both in Halifax and Moncton to compete. 

Hamara played a solid role for his country, helping them get to the gold medal final. 

He played a role in the game tying goal to force overtime against Canada, however, the Czech's ended up losing 3-2 in overtime on a Dylan Guenther goal.

"I was really rooting for him," said McKenzie, "he played an unbelievable game last night. I thought he was really good. Obviously, the Czech's had a great tournament and he was a big part of it."

Hamara finished the tournament with one assist, eight penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating in seven games played. 

"He didn't win the gold medal but really excited for him to see him have success on the international stage and pick up a silver medal to come back to Kitchener with." 

Filip Mesar and his Slovakian team finished in sixth place, the team's best finish in the tournament since 2015 where they won a bronze medal. 

Mesar scored two goals, four assists in five games with two penalty minutes and a plus-three rating. 

McKenzie said that Mesar will be back in the Rangers lineup Friday night on the road in Saginaw. 

"Filip Mesar will be back playing for us tonight, he arrived back [Thursday] and got to join the team last night in Saginaw. Tomas is flying out [Friday] afternoon, I don't think he'll be back in time for the game [tonight]." 

McKenzie also expects defenceman Roman Schmidt to be back in the lineup after he served a two-game suspension for slew-footing. 

"It's nice to get those guys back, we've had a bunch of other injuries and with them being away too, it's been a little difficult having so many guys out. It'll be a huge addition to our lineup tonight and tomorrow." 

The Rangers road trip continues Friday and Saturday as they take on Saginaw and Flint before coming back to Kitchener. 

Catch the Harris Law pre-game show on CityNews 570 starting at 6:35 p.m., with puck drop at 7 p.m. 

James Sebastian-Scott

About the Author: James Sebastian-Scott

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