Rangers Return Home for Friday Tilt against Niagara

December 9, 2022 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Kitchener Rangers News Release

Kitchener, Ont. - The Rangers return back to home-ice Friday on a three-game winning streak and winners of four of their last five games. The Blueshirts face-off against the Niagara IceDogs with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. at The Aud.

Notable Links:

Tickets: Buy Online | (519) 578-1570

TV: Rogers TV cable 20 (Kitchener)

TV: Super Sports Pack cable 470 (Ontario)

Video Stream: OHL Live on CHL TV

Radio: CityNews 570 AM CKGL

Ticket Information:

Tickets to Rangers' home games are $21 for children and $25 for adults and can be purchased online now. Additionally, fans can purchase tickets via the phone by calling the Centre In The Square Box Office at (519) 578-1570. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Activa Box Office at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium at 400 East Ave. Kitchener, ON N2H 1Z6 or at the Centre In The Square Box Office at 101 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7.


Kitchener boasts 7-2-1-0 record against the Niagara IceDogs over their last 10 meetings dating back to the 2015-16 regular season. In the last five games at The Aud, Kitchener owns a 4-1-0-0 record. The Rangers were undefeated in six straight meetings that carried across three OHL seasons (2015-18) going 6-0-0-0 in that time and outscoring the IceDogs 26-8.

These two clubs last met back on Jan. 10, 2020, where Kitchener defeated the IceDogs 5-2 on home ice. Francesco Pinelli scored the game winner and both Reid Valade and Simon Motew recorded two-point games. Five current Rangers were on the scoresheet back in 2020 (Fishman, Motew, Pinelli, Serpa and Valade).

Last night both Kitchener and Niagara took the ice in Thursday night OHL action. Kitchener earned a road victory in Peterborough 4-3. Niagara lost on home ice to Kingston in a shootout 3-2. These teams are on opposite sides of win streaks with Kitchener now on a three-game win streak and Niagara on a four-game slide.

Niagara started the season strong winning three out of their first five games against Western Conference opponents going 3-1-1-0. Since then, they have lost eight straight games against teams from the West, only picking up one point and falling to 3-8-2-0.

Scouting the Rangers:

Carson Rehkopf extended his point streak to five games Thursday night after adding another power-play goal. Rehkopf is averaging just under two points per game, recording nine points (6G, 3A) in five games. He now has 13 goals on the season and is second in the OHL with nine power-play goals.

Hunter Brzustewicz recorded a power-play assist bringing him to a tie in third overall in the OHL with 13 power-play assists. Brzustewicz is also fourth in total assists amongst all defenceman in the OHL this season with 20.

Reid Valade earned his first, first star honour Thursday night as he recorded two goals, with one being the game winner.

Marcus Vandenberg has improved his record to 4-2-0-0 in eight appearances for Kitchener stepping in for both Jackson Parsons and Marco Costantini. Vandenberg has the third best save percentage in the league with a 0.917 save percentage and the fifth best goals against average at 2.75.

Tomas Hamara (Ottawa Senators), Filip Mešár (Montréal Canadiens), Francesco Pinelli (Los Angeles Kings) and Roman Schmidt (Tampa Bay Lightning) are four Kitchener skaters that are both drafted, and signed, by their NHL clubs respectively.

Scouting the IceDogs:

Niagara is led by Pano Fimis and Brenden Sirizzotti who both have 20 points this season. Fimis has eight goals and twelve assists in 23 games this season while Sirizzotti has seven goal and 13 assists in 21 games for Niagara so far. Aiden Castle has the lead in goals on the Niagara roster with 12 goals 25 games. Castle's best stretch of the year was from Oct. 15 - Nov. 11 where he had a 10-game point streak recording 12 points (7G, 5A).

It's the return of the LeBlanc twins in Kitchener as the forward and defenceman pair make their return to The Aud after spending one season with the Blueshirts. Jacob LeBlanc made 80 total appearances for Kitchener, including the regular seasons and playoffs and Andrew LeBlanc made 62 appearances in both the regular season and playoffs. Jacob had 20 points (4G, 16A) in 68 regular season games for Kitchener and Andrew tallied 25 points (6G, 19A) in 57 games. This season Jacob has recorded eight points (1G, 7A) in 24 games for Niagara and Andrew has seven points (2G, 5A) in 16 games.

Niagara has a new look behind the bench as the IceDogs named Hamilton native Ryan Kuwabara their new head coach on Nov. 29.

Pasquale Zito (Detroit Red Wings) is the only skater drafted by his NHL club respectively.

Broadcast Coverage:

Friday night's contest will be televised live throughout Kitchener and the Waterloo Region on Rogers TV, cable channel 20, and can be watched across the province of Ontario on the Super Sports Pack on channel 470 for cable subscribers. Jason Hagholm (play-by-play), Dan Polischuk (colour commentary) and Sean Furfaro (host) will call the game on television. The game will be streamed live online on OHL Live on CHL TV. Additionally, fans can listen to the game on the radio on CityNews 570 AM CKGL. Mike Farwell (play-by-play) and Chris Pope (colour commentary) will call the game on the radio.

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