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Don't Look Now

Two weeks ago I wrote about Ryan Murphy getting hit by Tom Kuhnackl, and how this would be a huge blow to the Kitchener Rangers... What was I thinking? The team has now won 5 straight, and are 8-1-1 in there last 10. Anyone seen the Midwest division standings lately? The boys in blue are only 4 points back of the mighty London Knights, a team they beat in a shoot out not too long ago.

So what's going on here? Has it been a lull in the schedule, playing only weak teams? Sarnia, Guelph, Erie, Oshawa and Sudbury (in no particular order) all fell victim to the Rangers over the last 5 games. Those teams, With the exception of Sarnia, are at the lower ends of their respective divisions, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad teams. Regardless, the Rangers should have had 8 out of 10 points easy, and they got all 10. That's impressive. So whats with this sudden surge?

Look no further than John Gibson, Radek Faksa, Tobias Rieder and Zach Lorentz. Why Lorentz? As the kids say, he's got mad shoot out skillz bro. He came in to camp determined to be a better player and he has improved over last season, and he's continuing to get better.

Gibson has been incredible between the pipes, and Rieder and Faksa seem to score on almost every shot lately.

So far in the Month of November, Gibby has a 2.17 GAA and 0.941 Save percentage. When was the last time a Rangers net minder had those stats? Steve Mason? The guy is stopping and blocking almost everything out there and impressing everyone around the rink. He proved it even more on Thursday against Sarnia, when he outplayed former Rangers tender Brandon Maxwell. Maxx got pulled in that game after allowing 3 goals, while Gibon only allowed 2 goals on 40 shots.

Faksa has 9 points in seven games so far this month, good enough to get him placed on the top 5 of the OHL's Preliminary draft list for the upcoming NHL draft this summer. It seems he's found his stride in this country and is on his way to a great season.

The other import playing on East Ave, Tobias Rieder, has 10 points in the last 7 games including A three point night last night against Erie. In his sophomore season in Kitchener, Rieder has really stepped his game up and impressed all the fans in Kitchener. I'm sure there's a few scouts in Edmonton who are quite happy too.

The return of Captainacci (Rangers captain Michael Cattenaci) has been great as well. In his two games back the captain has 5 points including 4 last night against Erie. Hopefully this team can start getting healthy soon and we'll get Creszenci and Murphy back soon (and maybe McEnemy for the playoffs).

One more topic of note, City Council approved the expansion the the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, so at this time next year there will be an additional 1000 seats plus all new media boxes (more leg room for people 6ft tall maybe?) and private boxes. It only took 2 months to get this approved. Maybe Niagara's city council should pick up the slack too?

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