Rangers: 43-20-2-0, second in western conference
Sting: 44-16-4-1, third in western conference
Head to head: Kitchener leads 3-0
Game-time: 7:05 p.m.
The skinny: Sarnia has lost four of its past eight games and hasn’t played since Saturday so the Sting should be well rested. Kitchener had dropped two of its past three tilts and is playing its second game in as many nights. If all the favourites win their first playoff round these two teams will meet in the conference semis.
Keep an eye on: Rangers F Rickard Hugg only has six goals this season but two of them have come against the Sarnia Sting.
Givani Smith-Logan Brown-Kole Sherwood
Connor Bunnaman-Joseph Garreffa-Adam Mascherin
Nick McHugh-Riley Damiani-Greg Meireles
Adam Liska-Rickard Hugg-Jonathan Yantsis
Logan Stanley-Michael Vukojevic
Giovanni Vallati-Austin McEneny
Kyle Gentles-Jack York
Mario Culina (15-10-2-0) starts.
Jordan Ernst-Jamieson Rees-Brayden Guy
Hugo Leftvenius-Drake Rymsha-Anthony Salinitri
Franco Sproviero-Adam Ruzicka-Jordan Kyrou
Michael Pezzetta-Ryan McGregor-Sean Josling
Kelton Hatcher-Theo Calves
Cam Dineen-Mitch Eliot
Connor Schlichting-Nick Grima
Justin Fazio (35-11-3-0) starts.
- Rangers D Connor Hall is out for the second straight game after aggravating his shoulder against Saginaw on the weekend. The team says they are in a “wait and see” mode with regards to his return. I was told that he hasn’t decided to shut it down for the season - as of yet - so that’s good news.
- Lots of physical stuff going on behind the play and after the whistle in this one. Sarnia’s Drake Rymsha was rocked by Logan Stanley and then went after him in the first. Not sure that’s the fight you want to pick.
- Riley Damiani roofed the puck top corner on Sarnia goalie Justin Fazio after the first period ended. That didn’t go over well with the Sting.
- A great weekday crowd for the second night in a row. The Sleeman Centre was packed Tuesday and Sarnia (ites?) came out in full force tonight.
- The Progressive Auto Sales Arena might just be on my all-cold OHL rinks team. Sleeman Centre and Bud Gardens are already there.
- Both teams had too many men on the ice at least once and got away with it. Call it a wash.
- Unlike the last couple of meetings against the Sting, the Rangers had a hard time containing Sarnia’s top line. Jordan Kyrou is a pleasure to watch and is just on another level.
- The fatigue started to show for the Rangers in the second half of the second period which is understandable having played last night. So credit the club for taking the game all the way to a shootout.
- Some fantastic end to end action to end the second frame with Anthony Salinitri hitting the crossbar and Greg Meireles with a golden chance for the Rangers.
- Kole Sherwood scored his 30th of the season and celebrated in style by twirling his stick and then holstering it by his side.
- Sarnia’s Kelton Hatcher was bloodied after being checked into the end boards by Sherwood. No call on the play. Sting coach Derian Hatcher was not happy about it either.
- Givani Smith sure was enemy No. 1 for the Sting. He was a source of frustration for Sarnia all game.
- All hockey fans are hoping this is a second round playoff match-up.
JB’s top three Rangers: Mario Culina, Logan Stanley, Kyle Gentles