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Windsor Spitfires not taking Kitchener Rangers for granted


In hockey, when a top seed faces the lowest seed in the bracket, the odds of a series victory are on their side.

However, the Windsor Spitfires are not overlooking the Kitchener Rangers.

“They're a lot better team than shows in the standings,” said veteran defenceman Michael Renwick.

The Kitchener Rangers are the 8th seed, but their second half record speaks for itself.

Since making a coaching change in February, the Rangers won 12 of their last 21 games — earning 28 points.

The Spits won 10 out of 18 games during the same stretch for 22 points.

“There's no underdog here,” said Spits head coach Marc Savard. “We're both good hockey teams. It's gonna be a good battle and we expect that from them.”

Windsor heads into the series shorthanded with defenceman Rodwin Dionicio out serving the first of his two-game suspension. Also out are Ryan Abraham and AJ Spellacy.

“Losing Roddy is tough,” Renwick said. “He does a lot of good stuff for us on the powerplay and stuff like that. We're just going to have to adapt. We got some good call ups coming in with Woodall. He's done real well.”

Carson Woodall is available because the LaSalle Vipers were recently knocked out of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) playoffs.

“We'd love to be in LaSalle and compete for a Sutherland but we got out and ended up here and now we're going to try and make a long playoff run with the Spitfires,” Woodall said.

The Spits lost over 160 player games due to injuries, and have relied on LaSalle players like Cole Davis, Ethan Martin, NicK Graniero and Patrick McManus to fill the voids.

“I appreciate the call up, the opportunity,” said McManus. “It's a great experience playing in front of the Windsor crowd especially.”

The Spits recognize what the LaSalle players have brought to the rink.

“We're real happy with the way our Vipers have come in,” said team captain Matthew Maggio. “I felt Woody and Davis have come and they've been sturdy and then McManus obviously brings an unbelievable spark for us.”

As the young Vipers enter their first OHL playoff run, Maggio embraces his final crack at helping Windsor win its first OHL title since 2010.

“I'm gonna do everything in my power to make sure this team keeps playing and I get to come out and keep playing in front of these fans for as long as I can,” he said. “Hopefully that's all the way to the finals.” Top Stories

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