Tonight's game against the Parkland Rangers that was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. has been cancelled due to the Manitoba/Ontario border closure, and the recent heavy snowfall. It has not become clear if Saturday's affair, which was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. will continue.
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The Kenora U18 AAA Thistles (1-13-0) will embark on their longest road trip of the season so far this weekend as they make the seven-hour bus ride to Swan River, MB to take on the Parkland Rangers (6-8-2).
Head coach Scott Parsons and the team knows how important it is to get four points out of this weekend.
“Moving forward it’s going to be important for us to get four points out of just about every weekend. It’s going to be up to us to play our game and make sure we’re showing some improvement. Last weekend we started to take a few strides forward especially defensively. Hopefully, we can get a couple of good outcomes out of the weekend,” said Parsons.
The two teams will face off in a two-game weekend series for the first time since December 13, 2019.
Both clubs are coming off consecutive losses the weekend before. The Thistles lost both of their games to the Pembina Valley Hawks by scores of 4-1 and 4-2.
Parkland dropped both of their games to the first place Winnipeg Wild 5-2 and 5-4 and lost to Brandon on Tuesday (November 9, 2021) 6-3.
Parsons spoke on what the team has to do to jump out front early in the game and take advantage of a Rangers team who are on a five-game losing streak.
“Take care of our chances early that we get. We always seem to respond a little bit better when we get up in the first period. It’s going to be important for the boys to get their legs moving off the bus and make sure we can bring a high tempo game to Swan River this weekend,” says Parsons.
A positive for the Thistles last weekend was their penalty kill shutting out the Hawks on nine attempts.
Parsons said hopefully that energy will carry into this weekend against the Rangers.
“Absolutely, I think we did a really good job on the PK last weekend. Anytime you can negate the other team's powerplay for the entire weekend you’re going to give yourself a pretty good chance to win,” concluded Parsons.
Kenora’s powerplay also continued to be red hot as they went two for seven on the man advantage.
Going into this weekend's set of games the Thistles are led by Jett Mintenko (10-11-21), Nickolas Fagnilli (7-7-14), Brady Butvin (4-6-10), and Brandon Gustafson (3-5-8).
On the Ranger's side, they have offensive weapons of their own. Leading the team in points is Jayce Legaarden with 18 goals and 9 assists. Rylan Gibbs is sitting second with 17 points, while Carter Zalischuk is third with 15 points.
Game one goes tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Swan River, while Saturday's contest will go at 1:30 p.m.
Both games will be live-streamed on HockeyTV.