Toronto
Neighbourhood
Guide

Kitchener Rangers Thrill Fans With Win Over Rival Guelph Storm

January 21, 2018

Kitchener Rangers Thrill Fans With Win Over Rival Guelph Storm

When I made inquiries with some hockey authorities about where to go to experience an old school junior hockey game within an hour or so of the GTA the immediate answer was the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, home of the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. The Rangers founded in 1963 are a storied franchise having won two Memorial Cups as the top junior hockey team in Canada. Their alumni reads like a whose who of hockey greats highlighted by the likes of: Bill Barber, Larry Robinson, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens and Sportsnets Nick Kypreos.

"The Aud" built in 1951 bears a striking resemblance inside to the old Maple Leaf Gardens arena. The comfy padded seats are arranged in the same colour as MLG with the golds and reds in the lower bowl and the grey seats in the upper bowl. There is an intimacy in the building that is made for watching hockey. Every seat is a good seat which is why I guess all the tickets are priced the same at a very reasonable $23 for adults and $19 for children 12 and under. If you are feeling like you have a little extra heft in your wallet with the reasonable ticket price you can make a sound investment with all that change by indulging in the Roast Beef sandwich at Gibson's Finest Carvery & Bar, located in the concession area, Nothing fancy about this pit stop but the hot roast beef sandwich with sautéed onions was one of the best I have ever tasted. 

The anthem was sung beautifully by children from the local elementary school in front of a sell out crowd of 7,131. Kitchener started strong building a 2-0 lead which would last midway into the second period before the visiting Guelph Storm got on the scoreboard. A late second period goal by Kitchener restored their two goal lead. Guelph came out firing on all cylinders in the third period, led by their star player Ryan Merkley a projected 2018 NHL 1st round pick. It was Guelph's Issac Ratcliffe who scored midway through the third to once again bring Guelph to within a goal. But Kitchener would reply with a goal of their own late in the third period and hang on for a 4-2 win. Kitchener right Wing Givani Smith assisted on the insurance goal, a short handed marker. For Smith a Detroit Red Wing draft pick it was his second assist of the game to go along with a goal for three points on the day.

The sell out crowd certainly got their money's worth. The game was extremely fast paced and well played with tons of scoring chances and great goaltending. The crowd was loud but very polite. Two dads next to me brought their little boys to the game who I am sure will become Kitchener Ranger fans. They must have especially loved the red siren that vibrates on the scoreboard and sounds a loud horn whenever the Rangers scored. Even the intermissions were entertaining with Timbits hockey, as well as a shooting accuracy contest  where 3 contestants in a row only needed one shot a piece to slide slide the puck into a small opening from the blue line and win $100. They certainly know how to play hockey in Kitchener and they know how to watch hockey. Great fans, great arena, great tradition and great team. I look forward to my next Kitchener Rangers game.

By: David Dunkelman; email: ddunkelman@bell.net

For Kitchener Rangers Ticket Information Contact Zach Foss Manager Ticket Sales 519-576-3700 ext 238