And it’s no different for Waterloo native Kyle Wood, a defenceman with the North Bay Battalion.
Wood has been in the league for parts of three seasons but this will be his debut on East Avenue. And he couldn’t be more excited.
The Waterloo minor hockey product is having a career year with the Battalion, who are right in the hunt in the OHL’s eastern conference.
The Colorado Avalanche draft pick has a career high 16 goals this season and gives the Battalion a big body on the blue line.
North Bay: 29-17-6-5
Game-time: 7:30 p.m.
Head to head: Kitchener beat North Bay 5-1 about a week ago up north. The Rangers are 7-2 against the Battalion in the past five years.
Quick hits: Kitchener F and ex-Battalion forward Brandon Robinson had two goals against North Bay in last week's win. … Rangers defencemen Liam Maaskant and Max Iafrate will both sit out while serving the second game of a two-game suspension. … Kitchener has dropped to sixth place in the OHL’s western conference one point behind Owen Sound after the Attack’s 3-0 win over Barrie on Wednesday. … Kitchener C Ryan MacInnis has six points in his past four games.
Brandon Robinson-Ryan MacInnis-Adam Mascherin
Darby Llewellyn-David Miller-Nick Magyar
Mason Kohn-Gustaf Franzen-Mike Davies
Mark Bzowey-Connor Bunnaman-Jacob Cascagnette
Dmitrii Sergeev-Frank Hora
Doug Blaisdell-Dylan Di Perna
Sean Allen-Connor Hall
Jake Paterson (22-17-1-2) starts.
Brett McKenzie-Nick Paul-Nick Moutrey
Ryan Kujawinski-Mike Amadio-Alex Henriksson
Hampus Olsson-Ray Huether-Mathew Santos
Mike Bair-X-Zach Poirier
Miles Liberati-Marcus McIvor
Austin Kosack-Kyle Wood
Zach Shankar-Riley Bruce
Jake Kment (1-0-0-0) starts.
- Rangers D Dmitrii Sergeev is set to return after missing the past three games with a lower body injury. Rookie F Jack Kilgour is taking the warm up in case the Russian isn’t ready to go. UPDATE: Sergeev good to go.
- Kitchener D Thomas Welsh has been returned to Georgetown in the OJHL. The Raiders face Buffalo tonight in a playoff game.
- North Bay Jake Kment gets his second OHL career start. The Soo native was a 6th round pick in 2012 and was called up when the Battalion dealth Evan Cormier to Saginaw in the Nick Moutrey deal. Kment practised with the Battalion for about a month before seeing his first start.
- Owen Sound agitator Justin Brack was suspended by the OHL for 10 games for checking to the head on Barrie Colts forward Nick Pastorious. Brack will be able to return for the final two regular season games and be back for the playoffs. Kitchener is one point back of the Attack in the western conference standings.
- Kment looked shaky early on but the Rangers fired just five shots on him. Gotta pepper the backups when they haven't played in a while.
- Just 16 shots on net total for the Rangers. Part of that is North Bay's suffocating style. Part of it just goes to not throwing enough pucks on net.
- North Bay staff in the press box complained all game about the refs, a missed assist and pretty much anything else and then left town with my headphones. Nice.
- Just two penalties called all game. Both against North Bay.
- Tonight you really saw the impact of no Liam Maaskant and Max Iafrate, who return Sunday after a two-game suspension.
- North Bay pushed the Rangers around and won a lot of one on one battles. It was a very different team on both sides of the ice from last week's 5-1 Rangers' win.
- Kitchener's top line, which had been carrying the club of late, had a rough game tonight. MacInnis minus-3, Robinson minus-4.
- An underrated part of Gustaf Franzen's game is his defence. He's quite responsible in his own end and on the back check.
JB's top three Rangers: Mike Davies, Gustaf Franzen, Dylan Di Perna