CHLTV GOTW preview: Rangers vs. Sting, Jan. 31, 2023
The Kitchener Rangers (19-21-2), will host the Sarnia Sting (23-14-6) tonight in a Tuesday night edition of the CHLTV Game of the Week.
Additionally, the Rangers will wear their Real Canadian SuperStore Your Team Your Jersey winning design, created by William, tonight.
“I thought it would be neat to change the blue shirts to a different shade of blue so I went with baby blue and put in some red and white accent colors in different places,” William said.
Despite a plethora of moves by Rangers general manager Mike McKenzie, Kitchener haven’t quite found their footing yet with their new additions.
The team is 4-6-0 over its last 10 and own the 16th best record in the OHL despite the additions of Francesco Arcuri (DAL) and Danny Zhilkin (WPG) to compliment Filip Mesar (MTL) and Franceso Pinelli (LA), among others.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 17, 2022
Consistency has been the biggest issue; the Rangers began the season 0-5-0 and also have also endured a separate six-game losing streak. On the other hand, they have had a 6-0-1 run and a four-game win streak.
Of the Rangers’ 19 wins, 15 have come when they score the first goal while they own the sixth best power play in the OHL at 22.9 per cent.
Similar to the Rangers, the Sting have gone all in this year as general manager Dylan Seca has made major moves as Sarnia chases a first OHL title.
With a nucleus of Nolan Burke (NSH) and Ty Voit (TOR) already in place, Seca added Luca Del Bel Belluz (CBJ) and Sasha Pastujov (ANA) up front as well as Christian Kyrou (DAL) and Ethan Del Mastro (CHI) on the blue line.
The script writes itself 📜
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 15, 2022
They enter tonight on the back of four consecutive wins and have won nine of their last 13 as they have moved into fourth place in the Western Conference and into home-ice advantage with an eye on the playoffs.
While their offensive prowess is impressive, defensively, the Sting have conceded the fifth fewest goals in the OHL this year with 152 and unsurprisingly own the third best penalty kill at 81.1 per cent.
Sarnia is 2-0-0 against the Rangers this year; the two teams opened the season against one another on Sept. 30 where the Sting won 6-3 at The Aud before they collected a 4-2 home victory just 10 days ago.
Who to watch
Ty Voit has had a sublime season so far as he leads the CHL in assists with 55.
The Maple Leafs prospect’s 67 points trail only Matthew Maggio’s (NYI) 68 in the OHL while he sits eighth in CHL scoring as a whole.
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) November 6, 2022
His playmaking skills have been highlighted on the power play too as his 25 helpers on the man advantage are the fourth most in the CHL and lead the OHL.
He is currently projected to surpass the 100-point mark this year and if he does so, he’ll become just the 12th player in Sting history to do so.
Pinelli’s (LA) 27 goals and 54 points paces the Rangers while 2023 NHL Draft prospect Hunter Brzustewicz leads the team in assists with 30 from the blue line.
Carson Rehkopf, who suited up for Team White in last week’s Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, has had an impressive sophomore season where he’s scored 19 goals and sits second in scoring with 37 points.
No better place to show off that release!
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) January 26, 2023
Reid Valade’s 22 goals are the second most while Filip Mesar (MTL) has 26 points in 27 games.
Between the pipes, Marco Costantini has 13 wins.
For the Sting, Burke’s 28 goals are tied for the eighth most in the league while he sits second in team scoring with 47 points.
Back in the lineup on his birthday 🥳
Back on the scoresheet on his birthday 🥳 pic.twitter.com/julY1MEJIA
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 10, 2022
Pastujov sits third in Sting scoring despite only being acquired Nov. 17 as he’s scored 14 goals and added 37 points in just 24 games.
Kyrou has played at a point-per-game pace in 13 games since his trade from Erie while Del Mastro, who has won back-to-back World Juniors gold medals, has nine points in seven games.
Ben Gaudreau (SJ) has 13 wins this year while Nicholas Surzycia is 10-3-3 as a backup.
Where to watch
Tuesday’s contest can be seen live for free on CHL TV at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.
Available to fans from coast to coast, CHL TV is accessible on the CHL mobile app, in addition to Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire, and online at watch.chl.ca. Each year, CHL TV offers access to more than 2,000 regular-season games covering the CHL’s three Member Leagues and 60 markets across Canada and the United States. Fans can download the free CHL app via the App Store and Google Play.