The Kitchener Rangers beat the Guelph Storm in overtime 6-5 in their first game of the season on Friday night.
The Rangers appeared shaky in the first period, but rallied during the second. According to the game preview on the Storm’s website, the Rangers enjoyed a record of five wins and only two losses against the Storm last season. In the last five years the Rangers have had the upper hand against their rivals, winning 27 games and only losing 12.
The Rangers have been slowly improving in recent years. After a second-place finish in the division during the 2019-20 season, the future looked promising. But the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) was cancelled before the playoffs, slowing the momentum they previously had enjoyed.
After a year and a half of no hockey, this upcoming season brings change for the Rangers. The team has made dozens of roster changes and looks to be relying on younger players, which can add to the unpredictability.
The Rangers will need to focus on staying out of the penalty box. Their team penalty minutes per game last season was 12, compared to the Storm’s 8.4. The Storm have improved over the off-season and could make the Rangers pay if given any power-plays in future games.
The season opened against the Storm showed the fans a little more of what to expect this season. This will not be a regular OHL season because of the break for the pandemic, so there might be some surprises. It could be quite an unpredictable year.