And Waterloo native Justin Auger has been watching it all from the sidelines. He's battled mono for more than a month but returned to practice earlier this week.
He's not expected to play tonight, much to his chagrin. After all, he says, there is nothing better than facing his hometown team.
When he does return it'll be a big boost for the Storm. As mentioned in the story, it's like Guelph making a trade without actually making one. Just what the OHL's highest scoring team needs - more firepower.
As for the Rangers, they limp into the Royal City. Injuries, as noted below, are mounting. If ever there was a time for some struggling players to step up, tonight is the night.
It's a cold one here at the Sleeman Centre. Road trip tunes coming in consisted of the new Arcade Fire album Reflektor. Gotta start spinning some playlists for next week's eastern Ontario road swing.
Brent Pedersen-Ryan MacInnis-Justin Bailey
Ben Thomson-Radek Faksa-Nick Magyar
Darby Llewellyn-Matia Marcantuoni-Jimmy Soper
Mason Kohn-Curtis Meighan-Scott Teskey
Ben Fanelli-Evan McEneny
Jared Gilbert-Max Iafrate
Doug Blaisdell-Frank Hora
Tyson Teichmann (3-5) starts.
Tyler Bertuzzi-Hunter Garlent-Scott Kosmachuk
Zack Mitchell-Robby Fabbri-Brock McGinn
Ryan Horvat-Jason Dickinson-Brody Milne
Kyle Locke-Pius Suter-Justin Auger/Marc Stevens
Matt Finn-Chadd Bauman
Steve Trojanovic-Ben Harpur
Garrett McFadden-Phil Baltisberger
Justin Nichols (10-1) starts.
- Rookie defenceman Doug Blaisdell makes his first start since the opener after missing a month or so with a shoulder injury. Blaisdell was the the team's second pick (third round) in this year's draft.
- Scott Teskey was a healthy scratch. I would have started him. He was coming off his best game, where he played well and had his first point. Let him dress, see if it continues and carry it into Sunday's game against Missy, his old team.
- Time to call up Matt Greenfield. I understand the Rangers don't want to throw him in while team defence is brutal, but what more can the kid do in Jr. B? Make it a one-game audition, win or lose he goes back down, for now. That way there is less pressure.
- That's five or more goals allowed in three of the past four games for Kitchener.
- The top line of Ryan MacInnis, Justin Bailey and Brent Pedersen have combined for two goals in the past nine games.
- Good news, Kitchener only has to play Guelph six more times.
- Looking to shake things up? Maybe it's time to sit a vet just to send a message. While I'm playing coach, I'd toss Mason Kohn on Faksa's wing. Just a hunch.
- Evan McEneny left the game in the third period after a hit to the head by Robby Fabbri and did not return. He will be re-evaluated Saturday.
JB's top three Rangers: Frank Hora, Brent Pedersen, Doug Blaisdell