So the big game is here. Emotions will be running high in Sudbury.
It's Franky Palazzese, Cory Genovese and Matt Schmalz against their old Rangers teammates. Same goes for new Blueshirts Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado and Joel Vienneau.
Kitchener better hope it goes smoother than last night when the club allowed five third period goals en route to a 6-3 loss to the Barrie Colts. The Rangers had their chances but it's tough to win when you go 1-for-9 on the power play.
The collapse no doubt made for a quiet bus ride north last night. As for me, there are a few inches of snow on the ground here in Barrie. So, if you don't hear from me by game time, send a search party up Hwy. 69.
Wow, that was the second scariest drive I've ever done. The scariest? Last year coming home from Sudbury. Ah, life in the OHL.
This time it was complete whiteouts and pick a lane on the road between Barrie and Parry Sound.
But I'm here and it's all good now.
Road trip playlist: I went with some rock in Pearl Jam, AIC, Killers, Radiohead, Clash, Interpol, Strokes and Beasties.
So, we won't get the John Gibson-Franky Palazzese showdown. It's understandable putting in Vienneau against his former mates. Maybe we'll get to see the matchup when the Wolves come to the Aud (thanks for the reminder Kiera!).
Looking forward to seeing the Pedersen-Sterk-Bailey line. Not understanding Darby Llewellyn as a healthy scratch.Kitchener lines:
Matt Puempel-Tobias Rieder-Josh Leivo
Ben Thomson-Matia Marcantuoni-Derek Schoenmakers
Domenic Alberga-Curtis Meighan-Eric Ming
Brent Pedersen-Josh Sterk-Justin Bailey
Ben Fanelli-Frank Corrado
Evan McEneny-Ryan Murphy
Jared Gilbert-Max Iafrate
Joel Vienneau (17-12-2-5) starts.
Nathan Pancel-Mathew Campagna-Nicholas Baptiste
Brody Silk-Dominik Kahun-Dominik Kubalik
Nathan Cull-Jacob Harris-Michael Kantor
Chad Thibodeau-Danny Desrochers-Matt Schmalz
Jeff Corbett-Charlie Dodero
Conor Cummins-Kevin Raine
Cory Genovese-Evan de Haan
Frank Palazzese (11-7-1-4)
- Coach/GM says there is "no update" on Radek Faksa's lower body injury.
- A member of the Wolves' media: "I have never seen a goalie embrace the fans like Franky Palazzese."
- Absolutely love this rink. If you get the chance, make a roadie to Sudbury to catch a game. Just bring your parka.
- Mentioned it above, but being loyal to veterans is great, as long as the veterans are producing. Otherwise, why let an energetic, scoring winger sit in the stands as a healthy scratch?- Josh Leivo was rushing up ice on a delayed penalty when he crossed over the blue line and was absolutely rocked by Sudbury defenceman Charlie Dodero. Leivo remained down for a bit before making his way back to the bench, but did not leave the game. After the game, Leivo said he was just winded.
- Got a kick out of the Sudbury announcer making sure to point out that Mathew Campagna’s penalty shot was unassisted.
- Goalie Franky Palazzese was understandbly upset after the game. Called it the toughest loss he's ever had. He really wanted to beat his former club.
- The local CTV reporter was greeted with hugs from the former Sudbury players. I didn't get, nor did I expect, the same love from the ex-Kitchener guys. Though, they were friendly as always.
- Is Ryan Murphy starting to settle down? Remember it was this time last year that he got hot. He has two assists this afternoon.
- GM/head coach Steve Spott has to like the character the club showed in this game. They gave up the lead with a buck 44 to go only to tie it in the final minute and win the game with 24 seconds left in OT.
- Been a long time since almost all the damage was done by Kitchener's marquee players. That is a good sign.
- Frank Corrado made a point of saying he felt the Rangers have way more to give/show down the stretch.
JB's top three Rangers: Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado, Eric Ming