There’s no denying the Kitchener Rangers are the underdog.
After a 23-game winning streak spanning over two months, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds had a franchise-best season. It landed them atop the CHL Top-10 rankings and rightfully so, earning a CHL-best 116 points.
They only lost 13 games all season and if you listen to many, the Greyhounds are unbeatable in a seven-game series. But, those “many” don’t make their home on East Avenue in Kitchener.
The Greyhounds may have rutted the Rangers in each of their four matches, but three were one-goal games.
In their most recent meeting, a 4-3 win for the ‘Hounds at the Aud on March 9, the Blueshirts were without Givani Smith and Logan Brown.
The addition of both at the trade-deadline by Rangers’ general manager Mike McKenzie was to get this Kitchener club better suited to square off against the Soo.
The last time the Rangers were in the third round was 2008 when they grounded the Greyhounds.
The last time the Soo was in the Conference Championship, they were collapsed by the Erie Otters and, then assistant coach in Erie, Jay McKee.
The ‘Hounds are fresh off a 9-7 win in Game 7 over the Owen Sound Attack.
Kitchener has deposited their opposition in six games in each of the first two rounds.
REGULAR SEASON TEAM STATS
|Kitchener Rangers (2nd)||
Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds (1st)
|Record||43-21-3-1 (90 pts)||55-7-3-3 (116 pts)|
|Home Record||22-11-1-0 (45 pts)||31-1-2-0 (64 pts)|
|Road Record||21-10-2-1 (45 pts)||24-6-1-3 (52 pts)|
|GF||246 (4th in West)||317 (1stin West)|
|GA||218 (4th in West)||186 (1st in West)|
|PIM||677 (5th in West)||629 (6th in West)|
|PP %||20.7% (10th)||24.8% (3rd)|
|PP% Home||23.1% (8th)||26.2% (2nd)|
|PP% Road||18.2% (13th)||23.1% (7th)|
|PK %||82.9% (3rd)||82% (4th)|
|PK% Home||79.5% (9th)||80.4% (6th)|
|PK% Away||85.9% (1st)||83.7% (3rd)|
PLAYOFFS TOP SCORERS
|Kitchener Rangers (8-4)||
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (8-3)
|(C) Logan Brown: 3-18–21pts||(LW) Boris Katchouk: 11-8-19pts|
|(RW) Kole Sherwood: 10-7-17pts||(RW) Taylor Raddysh: 8-9-17pts|
|(LW) Adam Mascherin: 6-11-17pts||(C) Morgan Frost: 5-11-16pts|
|(RW) Givani Smith: 7-5-12pts||(LW) Tim Gettinger: 2-10-12pts|
|(C) Connor Bunnaman: 4-7-11pts||C) Barrett Hayton: 5-6-11pts|
PLAYOFFS GOALIE STATS
Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds
REGULAR SEASON MEETINGS:
Mar 9: SSM 4 @ 3 KIT – Waterloo’s Boris berates Blueshirts
Dec 15: SSM 4 @ 3 KIT – Greyhounds bite back late, beating Blueshirts
Nov 24: KIT 2 @ 8 SSM – “We played like crap,” – Kitchener Coach McKee
Oct 13: Kit 2 @ 3 SSM – Hounds clipped Kitchener kicking off road trip
WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME TIMES:
Friday, April 20 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.
Monday, April 23 at Kitchener – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 25 at Kitchener – 7:00 p.m.
*Friday, April 27 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.
*Sunday, April 29 at Kitchener – 2:00 p.m.
*Monday, April 30 at Sault Ste. Marie – 7:07 p.m.