The Kitchener Rangers are rolling.
The Blueshirts rocked the Erie Otters 4-1, at the Aud Friday. Make it points in eight of their last ten games.
Kitchener is finally over the .500 mark for the first time since January 4th, thanks to three goals in the first period.
“That was the talk to the guys before, make sure we jump on them early; first two-or-three shifts every guy, make sure they're sharp,” said general manager and coach Mike McKenzie.
Rangers rookie netminder Marcus Vandenberg was oh-so-close to his first Ontario Hockey League shutout. He stopped 23 shots, with the lone goal against coming on an Otters power-play that was deflected off a skate.
Kitchener was without Tomas Hamara, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension. He shot the puck over the glass, after the whistle in Oshawa, Wednesday.
The Rangers' power-play has certainly woken up. Coming off a 2-for-29 drought, Kitchener has scored four goals on their last nine man-advantages.
“We tried something different in Oshawa (Wednesday), and it seemed to click. A little more freedom, and letting guys move around a little bit and make some interchanges, and they seem to be comfortable with it,” said McKenzie. “We have dangerous guys, they should be scoring.”
They were, Friday. The Rangers had four different goal-scorers in the game, with Francesco Arcuri scoring his 42nd of the year, as the team's lone power-play marker.
Despite the two points, Kitchener remains in eighth place in the Western Conference.
They're three points back of Flint for seventh, with two games in hand. Owen Sound sits in sixth, five points up on the Rangers, with the Attack holding a game in hand.
That makes Saturday uber important for Kitchener.
It's the Rangers and Attack from the Bayshore, with the pregame show starting at 7:00 p.m. with Mike Farwell and Chris Pope.