As the 2019 season begins, Kitchener Rangers starting goalie Luke Richardson has decided to pursue academics at Queen’s University. He will also play for their hockey team, the Golden Gaels.
With the possibility of four overage players on the roster and only allowed to carry three, something had to give. “Both the organization and Luke himself have been aware that Luke’s return to the Rangers for the 2019-20 season was unsure,” says Steve Bienkowski, Chief Operating Officer and Governor of the Kitchener Rangers. “Luke attended Wilfrid Laurier University on a part time basis last season and his decision to enroll full time and commit to the Queen’s hockey team is just taking the next step in his academic career.”
Not to worry Ranger fans, as the team prepared for this possibility by acquiring veteran goalie Jacob Ingham from the Steelheads for draft picks this past off-season.
Ingham is only 19 years old but is entering his fourth season and will definitely be looked at as a leader in the dressing room. He showed some flashes of brilliance last season as he was named Player of the Week in early February. Longtime Rangers fan Evan Reinhart says, “I’m not too worried, Richardson was good for us but Jacob is a proven goalie.” Reinhart knows the Rangers are in a bit of a “rebuild phase” but is optimistic for the future. “I think they can put a good team together this year because they have a bunch of experienced players that have played together for a long time.”
OHL hockey is ever changing and always needs room for flexibility. Luke Richardson had a successful career in the OHL and made a difficult decision to pursue academics. However, the Rangers adjusted well and prepared for this possibility as they have put themselves in a good spot to start the season.