It has been a long time coming but live sports are finally back in session. The Kitchener Rangers is one of the local teams that Conestoga College students could see live. They are a junior-based hockey team that plays in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
The Rangers are one of the most historic junior franchises in the league because they have been a part of it since 1963. The OHL is a division of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which also consists of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
The Rangers have competed in multiple Memorial Cups, which is what teams play for at the end of their seasons through playoffs. They won the title in 1982 and 2003, meaning they were the best team in the entire CHL.
The 2021-2022 season for the Rangers will officially start on Friday, Oct 8.
Chief operating officer and governor of the Kitchener Rangers, Joe Birch, told CTV News he is excited for the season to start.
“We’ve waited a long time as an organization, our fans, our players,” Birch told CTV News.
Due to COVID-19, there are multiple restrictions at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, where they play all their home games.
In order to get into the rink, you must show proof of double vaccination along with a piece of government ID. Social distanced seating is being used and you must social distance to the best of your ability throughout the concourse. Masks must be worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking.
You can purchase tickets for any regular-season game here.
A Kitchener Ranger hockey game can be a perfect opportunity to get out in the community, even if you don’t like hockey. The atmosphere at the games is fun and it gives people a chance to go out with friends or family. Tickets are affordable for college students, they average about $20 per ticket. There are also multiple opportunities to support the community through their 50/50 raffles or themed games.
The Rangers recently wrapped up their preseason games before starting the regular season. Their record through six games was 3-3-0. They played the Barrie Colts, Mississauga Steelheads, and Niagara IceDogs.
Their two most recent games against Niagara both ended in losses. Both games were high-scoring and allowed both teams to prepare for opening weekend. Kitchener’s Reid Valade scored twice over the course of two games. They also saw more experienced players make their way into the lineup, including Francesco Pinelli.
The Rangers hope to start the season off strong when they host Guelph on Friday, Oct 8 at 7:30 p.m. They will finish the opening weekend in Guelph on Saturday, Oct 9 at 7 p.m.