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The Rangers will look to players like Radek Faksa, pictured here winning a faceoff Tuesday against London's Alex Broadhurst, and Tobias Rieder to step up their game with leading scorer Matt Puempel out indefinitely with a shoulder sprain.

Rangers gameday: Facing the Spits on Sportsnet

By Jordan Ercit
Kitchener Post staff

The Kitchener Rangers host the Windsor Spitfires tonight at The Aud in front of a national audience on Sportsnet.

Here’s some tidbits to prepare you for the week ahead:

KITCHENER NOTES: So Matt Puempel’s out. Now what? For Steve Spott, that means getting more out of Tobias Rieder, who will fill Puempel’s spot on the top line alongside Radek Faksa and Eric Ming.

The team’s second-leading scorer, with nine goals, is well off his 2011-12 scoring pace, when he potted 42 goals in 60 games. At this rate, he’ll also fall short of his rookie OHL season in 2010-11, a 23-goal, 65-game campaign. More offence from Faksa, Brent Pedersen and Matia Marcantuoni would be welcome as well — although Spott has also praised Marcantuoni’s defensive efforts of late.

Puempel, meanwhile, joins a growing list of injured Rangers. Forwards Darby Llewellyn and Josh Sterk are still dealing with concussions, but defenceman Jared Gilbert may suit up this weekend. In the meantime, the Rangers plan to call Ty Learn up from the Jr. B Dutchmen.

WINDSOR NOTES: One familiar local face from Kitchener-Waterloo has been replaced with another in Windsor.

Last week, the Spits dealt overage Kitchener native Derek Schoenmakers and defenceman Brandon Devlin to Peterborough for former Rangers forward Zach Lorentz, a Waterloo native, and d-man Trevor Murphy. The Petes and Spits also swapped sixth-round picks.

Lorentz seems to have settled in nicely with a pair of assists in two games with Windsor. Schoenmakers, meanwhile, has yet to report to the Petes.

POST SEZ: Don’t forget two things.

One, Friday’s game starts 30 minutes early to accomodate Sportnet’s Friday Night Hockey coverage.

Two, bring a stuffed bruin on Tuesday, when the Rangers host Guelph during the annual Teddy Bear toss game at 7 p.m. Zellers will be on hand to sell bears, with proceeds benefitting Cystic Fibrosis and other charities.

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