Kitchener Rangers

Kitchener Succumbs to Niagara's Physical Game

December 2, 2023 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Kitchener Rangers News Release

Kitchener Rangers left wing Trent Swick
Kitchener Rangers left wing Trent Swick
(Kitchener Rangers, Credit: Tiffany Luke / Kitchener Rangers)

Kitchener lost just their third home game of the season in overtime to Niagara by a score of 4-3. It was a physical game, including two fights and three misconducts. This was the second straight game for Kitchener that ended in overtime; Wednesday in Erie Matthew Sop led the way in the overtime win. However, they could not pull it off tonight, marking the Rangers' first overtime loss of the season.

Entering the game Kitchener was celebrating Filip Mesar and Jackson Parsons being named to the CHL team of the month for November, with honourable mentions to Matthew Sop and Carson Rehkopf.

Scoring Summary:

1st Period


18:09 Matthew Sop (18) - Carson Rehkopf, Trent Swick - PPG

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to Zakary Lavoie 16:14 into the period and an interference penalty to Connor Federkow gave Kitchener the lead. Five on three Carson Rehkopf cut into the zone and passed the puck to Matthew Sop who was staring into an empty net. Sop tucked the puck in scoring his fifth goal on his current four-game goal streak.

2nd Period


2:29 Kevin He (11)

Kevin He rifled home a puck from the glove side faceoff circle. He changed the angle before demonstrating his wicked release on the unassisted goal to tie the game.


10:03 Mike Levin (7) - Ethan Czata, Ryan Vannetten

On the breakout, Ethan Czata carried the puck into the Rangers zone. As Czata entered he dropped the puck back to Mike Levin who went bar down over Jackson Parsons' shoulder, giving Niagara the lead halfway through the game.

3rd Period


4:48 Zakary Lavoie (9) - Alex Assadourian, Mike Levin - PPG

Luke Ellinas took a tripping penalty, which Niagara took advantage of extending their lead early in the third period. Mike Levin sent the puck up high to Alex Assadourian who sent the puck down to the blocker side faceoff circle where Zakary Lavoie was standing. From this point, Lavoie sniped home the shot extending the Niagara lead to two.


6:23 Carson Rehkopf (27) - Hunter Brzustewicz, Filip Mesar

On the powerplay, Carson Rehkopf rocketed home his league-leading 27th goal of the year. A penalty to Lavoie for holding at 5:27 set the goal up. Hunter Brzustewicz held the puck atop the zone and sent it down to Rehkopf. Using his well-known shot Rehkopf brought the Rangers back within one sniping past former Ranger Marcus Vandenberg.


18:46 Filip Mesar (12) - Carson Rehkopf, Hunter Brzustewicz - PPG

After a hit on Simon Motew from behind, Evan Klein was given a five-minute major and game misconduct while Cameron Reid got two and a ten for instigating a fight after sticking up for his defence partner. Later, while on the powerplay, Vannetten took a second penalty for hooking. This led to a 1:51 five-on-three. After the first penalty expired Kitchener had nine seconds remaining. With one second to go on the powerplay CHL right winger of the month one-timed home the tying goal. Receiving a pass from Rehkopf, Mesar one-timed it over Vandenberg's shoulder on the Blueshirts' 47th shot of the game, sending it to overtime.



2:17 Zakary Lavoie (10)

Zakary Lavoie ended the game in overtime. A miscue in the offensive zone between Adrian Misaljevic and Matthew Sop sent Lavoie onto the breakaway. Lavoie, one-on-one with Parsons, waited him out and put the game to rest unassisted.

The Stars:

First Star: Marcus Vandenberg (45 Saves, 3GA)

Second Star: Carson Rehkopf (1G, 2A)

Third Star: Zakary Lavoie (2G)

The Goalies:

Vandenberg returned to the Aud after being traded to Niagara in the offseason and he was spectacular. Making 45 saves on 48 shots he earned his second win of the season, improving his record to two wins, six losses, and two overtime losses. On the other end of the ice Parsons made 23 of 27 potential saves in the overtime defeat. His season record moved to fourteen wins, five losses, and one overtime loss. Parsons was named CHL goalie of the month in November while going 9-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .937 save percentage.

The Numbers Game:

Shots: NIAG 27, KIT 48

Powerplay: NIAG 1-4, KIT 3-6

FO%: NIAG 50.7%, KIT 49.3%

Up Next: Kitchener travels to Sarnia on Sunday before returning home Tuesday, December 5th, for a 7 pm against the local rival Guelph in the Rangers' Teddy Bear Toss game. This is the first time Guelph will travel to Kitchener this season. The two teams played a heated affair on November 25th where Guelph was victorious 8-6. Don't miss the rematch and bring your new Teddy Bears, tickets can be purchased at The Aud box office sponsored by White Way Plumbing or online.

Images from this story

Kitchener Rangers left wing Trent Swick
Kitchener Rangers left wing Trent Swick

(Tiffany Luke / Kitchener Rangers)

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