Rangers: 42-20-2-0, second in western conference
Spirit: 29-27-8-0, tied for sixth in western conference
Head to head: Kitchener leads 3-0
Game-time: 2 p.m.
The skinny: Saginaw saw its modest two-game winning streak snapped in a 5-0 loss to Owen Sound last night and is playing its third game in three days. The Spirit are 8-14-5-0 since Jan. 5. Kitchener is all set to finish second in the west and is coming off a tight 4-3 loss to the mighty Soo Greyhounds. But after Hamilton’s loss to Niagara last night the Rangers are now just two points back of the Bulldogs for third overall in the OHL with a game in hand.
Keep an eye on: Rangers F Adam Mascherin is one tally shy of the 40-goal mark and has nine points in his past four games.
Givani Smith-Rickard Hugg-Kole Sherwood
Connor Bunnaman-Joseph Garreffa-Adam Mascherin
Nick McHugh-Riley Damiani-Greg Meireles
Adam Liska-Michael Petizian-Jonathan Yantsis
Connor Hall-Austin McEneny
Michael Vukojevic-Kyle Gentles
Giovanni Vallati-Jack York
Luke Richardson (22-11-1-0) starts.
Blade Jenkins-Damien Giroux-Mason Kohn
Cole Coskey-Max Grondin-Jake Goldowski
Nicholas Porco-D.J. Busdeker-Ryan Stepien
Danny Katic-Aidan Prueter-Ben Badalamenti
Keaton Middleton-Reilly Webb
Marcus Crawford-Hayden Davis
Duncan Penman-Caleb Everett
Cameron Lamour (5-5-1-0) starts.
- Owen Sound is no longer in the mix for seventh place in the west leaving Windsor, Saginaw and Guelph as possible first round opponents for Kitchener.
- Givani Smith is back in the lineup after missing one game while D Logan Stanley is out with a lower body injury. It isn't considered serious and he's expected to return later this week.
- A sneaky play by Adam Mascherin in the first saw him leave the penalty box and steal the puck off a Spirit defender at the point and then takeoff on a partial break. He didn't score but it sure surprised the Spirit.
- It was déjà-vu on the first two Rangers goals by Austin McEneny and Mascherin – both from the left side and high blocker side on Cameron Lamour. Joseph Garreffa’s 12th was also scored on a wrister.
- Give Mascherin 40 on the year. First Ranger to do that since Tobias Rieder in 2011-12, who had 42.
- D Connor Hall left the game in the first period and did not return. The veteran has already missed time this season with a shoulder injury, one that will require off-season surgery. Coach Jay McKee said Hall didn't seem too bad after the game and that they'll know more after a doctor takes a look.
- Protecting a lead is one thing but the Rangers were outshot 19-4 in the third. Saginaw doesn't have the star power of the Rangers but they sure work hard.
- Former Rangers F Mason Kohn got the visitors back in it on the PP in the third period. He always seems to scored against his ex-club.
- Kitchener D Michael Vukojevic was also JB star worthy. He played 27 minutes today. Goalie Luke Richardson was also strong.
- Draws 39-27 Rangers. Garreffa 10/15, Bunnaman 8/10, Petizian/Meireles 4/6.
JB’s top three Rangers: Austin McEneny, Adam Mascherin, Giovanni Vallati