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Rangers Continue to Roll

For a team that was predicted to be middle-of-the-pack pre-season, the Kitchener Rangers have done just that so far, albeit constantly down a man. We're quickly approaching the midway mark of the schedule. The Rangers sit third in the west, 2 points behind Plymouth with 2 games in hand, and 6 points behind London. But the injury bug continues to bite the team, which has yet to have a full lineup at any point this season.

John Gibson and Ryan Murphy finally returned to the lineup Thursday night in Brampton, and the team rallied after allowing a goal with 30 seconds to play. The ended up winning the game 2-1 in the shoot out.

Friday night with Mississauga in town was a different story. With top scorer Tobias Rieder out of the lineup with a banged up shoulder, the Rangers lost 3-2 after going down 3-1 by the end of the first period. How much does #9 mean to this hockey club right now? I guess we'll find out when he leaves for the World Juniors in a weeks time.

With Rieder gone, the Rangers add him to a list that includes Matia Marcantuoni, Andrew Cresenzci, Evan McEnemy, and Josh Gilbert. All players are currently watching from the press box.

Radek Faksa, the Rangers second highest point scorer, was named OHL Rookie of the Month for November. Faksa put up 16 points (8g,8a)in 10 games to earn the Czech import the honour. Hopefully he can continue to put on a show down the stretch, especially when the big guns are gone over the next month.

One common theme of discussions lately is how good this team will be next season. The Rangers are only guaranteed to lose Sol, Melchiori and Cattenaci (or is it Captainacci?). Of course there's a high likelihood of losing Murphy, Rieder and maybe even Gibson to the NHL come next October. Of course the loss of Jeff Skinner and Jeremy Morin to start last season is still fresh in everyone's mind (I call it 53 syndrome), so the last thing anyone wants is a repeat. So what does this mean really? I'd like to think that the Rangers 50th season will be a big one. So don't get too distraught if things turn sour down the stretch, just remember the Rangers are probably better than Guelph and Windsor and the future is very bright.

Don't forget your teddy bears Tuesday night against London!!

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