Rangers Down 2 Games To Knights

 

It’s round 1 of the 2015 OHL Playoffs, and the Kitchener Rangers are already down 2 games to the London Knights.

The Rangers also have very few players with playoff experience to begin with, luckily the ones who do happen to be some of the veterans on the team.

Rangers starting goaling Jake Paterson has represented team Canada at the World Juniors in the past, and has 23 OHL playoff games under his belt going into game 3 tonight at the Aud. Unlike Kitchener’s back up Dawson Carty who has seen the ice once in the post season before replacing Paterson on Sunday in London.

David Miller who was acquired at the trade dead line has a few playoff rounds under his belt from his time in Sault Ste. Marie for the Greyhounds.  As does Brandon Robinson who came to the Rangers last year in a trade that saw Ben Thomson head to North Bay.

Then there is Dylan DiPerna who was swept in the first round back in 2013 with his old team the Kingston Frontenacs .

Captain Liam Maaskant got his first shot at the post season with the Barrie Colts last year and now looks to take his new club on a playoff run in his final OHL season.

Max Iafrate has the most playoff experience on the team with 30 games played in the post season, and is also one of the standout players for me so far.

Side note: All the players listed above with playoff experience were never drafted by the Rangers. They all came over in trades or signings after being with other clubs first. So not a single player who has spent their whole OHL career with the Rangers go far has any playoff experience. Yikes, that’s 17 players.

Friday nights game was actually kind of boring if I’m being honest, but one thing I noticed was the smarts from Max and his game.

Domi and Iafrate got tied up behind the net in the first, Domi then went after Iafrate and started cross checking him in the chest multiple times, no call was made as the ref sat back and watched, but Iafrate didn’t retaliate once, he laughed at Domi’s childish ways and skated off. Situations like this happened multiple times Friday night against Iafrate, and he never saw the box once. Sorry Hunter, but that strategy isn’t going to work.

Iafrate also walked away from a fight giving the Rangers a man advantage during their last home game of the regular season. In my opinion, he is being a true leader to the young guns on the team as to how to handle the post season and what it may toss your way.

The one thing the team has been doing right is peppering Knights goalie Tyler Parsons with shots all game. Parsons is also an OHL rookie this season, and looks to be London’s go to guy in between the pipes.

Rangers head coach Troy Smith told reporters after the 6-2 loss on Sunday, that he blames London for embellishing and diving causing the Rangers to go on the penalty kill. I say, well no duh! It’s London, the team everyone knows practices at the pool and will go to any lengths to win, including little stunts like this.

If the Rangers want to keep their hopes alive they will have to keep the pressure on the Knights top line, basically their only line that poses a threat. Max Domi has been held to 1 goal and 2 assists, but Mitch Marner has 5 goals and 1 assist. Marner finished the season with a total of 44 goals, 82  assists, for a total of 126 points. That’s 6 points above McDavid and 3 back from league leading goal scorer Dylan Strome.

If you were to double up the points of the leading point getter Ryan MacInnis (62 pts) on the Rangers, you’d only be 2 points behind Marner and his impressive season.

So tonight is the night the Knights look to gain a 3-0 lead over the Rangers in the best of 7 in the first round. So fans, come out, be loud, and let our Rangers know we’re behind all the way!

Puck drop is set for 7pm at the Aud on East Ave.

Watch the Rangers on Rogers Local TV Cable 20.

Listen in with Don and Mike on AM News 570.

Follow me on twitter for live game updates @kaitlyn_kilgour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kaitlyn.kilgour

Born in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo, where I became a die hard Kitchener Rangers fan! Graduate from Conestoga College with a diploma in Broadcast Television. My dream is to be on on-air sports broadcaster one day, and cover women’s hockey with Cassie Campbell. Favourite NHL teams are the Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes. I am very happy to be a part of Local Sports Report as a writer for the Kitchener Rangers!