The fourth-place Kitchener Rangers play host to the tenth-place Erie Otters in one of five afternoon matchups on the OHL schedule for this Sunday.
A LOOK AT: KITCHENER
The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 loss to Owen Sound, a loss which broke the team’s previous four-game winning streak. Tobias Rieder had the lone goal for Kitchener in the loss to the Attack, while goaltender Joel Vienneau stopped 33 of 35 shots faced.
Kitchener sits third in the Midwest Division with a 29-15-1-5 record and 64 points in 50 games this season. Their 147 goals-for are second least in the conference (behind only Windsor), but their 124 goals-against is one of the best in the OHL. Only Belleville has allowed fewer goals this season.
The Rangers have gone 7-2-0-1 in their last ten games.
Joshua Leivo, the left-winger acquired by Kitchener along with Frank Corrado via a January trade, leads the Rangers with a total of 22 goals and 34 assists in 45 games. He has 12 points in 11 games since joining Kitchener.
Tobias Rieder, an Edmonton Oilers prospect, has 35 points (17-18) in 38 games, and Frank Corrado has 32 points (6-26) in 51 games between Sudbury and Kitchener. Left winger Ben Thomson leads the team with 94 penalty minutes.
John Gibson is Kitchener’s main man in net, having appeared in 23 games this season – and winning 15 of them. He’s played 1,370 minutes and stopped 698 of 753 shots faced this season, carrying a 2.41 GAA and .927 save percentage.
A LOOK AT: ERIE
Today’s game is the Otters’ third game in as many days. The team is coming off a 7-2 loss to Sudbury on February 2, a game in which Dane Fox and Connor McDavid scored for Erie.
The team, which sits at 10th in the Western Conference, looks to break a six-game winless streak, with the last victory coming in a 4-2 win over Saginaw on January 19. Erie has a 15-28-3-5 record and 38 points in 51 games this season. The team has 154 goals-for and 210 goals-against this season and is 1-7-1-1 in their last ten games.
Captain Connor Brown leads the team with 60 points in 51 games; Brown leads the Otters in goals, assists and points, and is also tied for the OHL lead with 14 power play goals.
Sixteen-year-old rookie Connor McDavid is second on the team with 51 points (21-30) in 46 games, while fellow center J.P. Labardo rounds out the top three on the Otters with 47 points in 50 games. Center Connor Crisp leads the team – and is second in the OHL – with 111 penalty minutes.
Oscar Dansk has been Erie’s main goaltender this season but is currently sidelined due to a suspected concussion; now, it’s Devin Williams in net. Williams has appeared in 24 games with Erie this season, accruing a 4.11 GAA and .898 save percentage and allowing 91 goals in 891 shots faced.
Today’s game is the seventh of eight match-ups between the teams this season. Kitchener won the first two games, a 3-1 victory on November 16 and a 4-2 win on November 24, before Erie took the next two games (12/14, 12/15) by scores of 6-2 and 4-3.
Kitchener has won the last two meetings, a 5-1 victory on January 25 and 4-1 win the following day.
Leading the way for the Rangers in the season series is right winger Tobias Rieder, who has seven points (3-4) in four games played against the Otters this year. Radek Faska has five assists on the season versus Erie, while a number of players (Evan McEneny, Matt Puempel, Ryan Murphy, Matia Marcantuoni, Brent Pedersen) have four points against the Otters.
Connor Brown leads Erie with seven points (all assists) in the season series against Kitchener. McDavid has six points (2-4) while four players (Stephen Harper, JP Labardo, Connor Crisp, Jimmy McDowell) have four points each against Kitchener this year.
After today’s game, the Rangers and Otters will meet once more, on February 16 in Erie.