Defenceman Dallas Nadasdi (4) contributed a goal in a losing cause as the Rangers dropped their first game in regulation since Oct. 12, 2022.


NIAGARA FALLS (Feb. 2) — What goes around, comes around, it would seem.  After a truly exceptional spell of  113 days, a total of 23 games, the Glanbrook Rangers finally suffered a loss in regulation time.  And the end of their streak came at the hands of the team that last beat the Rangers way back on Oct. 12, 2022 as they fell to the Niagara RiverHawks by a 5-2 margin.

It was only the third time the Rangers have lost in regulation this season (twice to Niagara, once to Grimsby) to go along with another loss to the Peach Kings in overtime, and while there’s surely a measure of disappointment at seeing such a unique span of success come to a halt, it’s not something to dwell on, said Rangers’ defenceman Dallas Nadasdi.

“The team mood (after the loss) was just to chalk it up and look forward to the upcoming week,” he said.  “Our point streak was amazing, but at the end of the day, it’s tough to keep a streak like that going.  And, as a team, we just need to put it behind us and start preparing for the future weeks.”

The Rangers effort against the RiverHawks started off auspiciously enough, as Cooper Hood opened the scoring with his 25th goal on a power play at 6:04 of the first period.  That seemed like an encouraging omen since  (while we’re talking about streaks) the Rangers had not lost a game in which they scored first, a 24-0 tally.  But not this time.  Before the opening frame ended, Niagara had countered with a pair of goals from Isaac McDonald at 16:44, followed by a shorthanded effort from Austin Barath at 18:11 to hold a 2-1 advantage.

The teams skated through a scoreless second stanza, although Glanbrook applied compelling pressure, outshooting the hosts 14-6.   Their prospects improved early in the third as Nadasdi capitalized on another man-advantage situation, notching his second goal of the campaign at the 1:26 mark.  But that’s where the drive stalled, and the RiverHawks responded with three unanswered goals from Reid Lowe at 2:03, Hunter Willis at 14:00 and William Mahoney’s empty-netter at 18:26.

“I felt that Niagara was able to capitalize on our mistakes,” said Rangers’ coach Andrew Tait.  “It seemed that when we made a positional mistake, they took advantage.  As a team, I don’t feel we had our strongest effort.  I thought we came out in the third flat and somewhat uninterested.”

The Rangers, especially in the latter stages, may also have been feeling the effects of playing back-to-back games as this contest followed a stirring 6-1 win over Grimsby the previous night, but, Nadasdi said, that’s not a sufficient justification.

“After playing a tough team (like Grimsby) it’s always tough to be 100 per cent the next day,” he said.  “But it’s not something we can dwell on.  We know we can’t use that as an excuse come the playoffs and we have to be prepared to play back-to-back.  We just need to be better prepared going into our games for the rest of the season.  We can’t take any team lightly and need to play with the same intensity night in and night out.”

With just nine games remaining in the regular season, the Rangers are still in a favorable position to capture the Bloomfield Division title:  they hold a six-point lead on Grimsby with a game in hand.

“The mood in the room is still fairly positive.  Of course, no one wants to lose, but we feel this was a bit of a wake-up call,” said Tait.  “With nine games remaining, we are looking to lock up first place, and get in a position to earn a first-round bye.  Like everyone this time of year, we have some nagging injuries that we look to get healed up and ready for, hopefully, a long playoff run.”

NOTES:  Ranger netminder Jason Sviergula saw his personal mark of perfection come to an end as he suffered his first defeat.  The 17-year-old Fonthill native had gone 15-0-1-0 … Hood’s goal brought him to within one of team scoring leader Sean Golebiowski (26 to 25).  Hood has scored in four consecutive games … Nadasdi has been on a point-scoring spurt as well, putting up six points in his past four games (one goal, five assists) … The Rangers game against Niagara that was postponed on Wednesday, Jan. 25 has been rescheduled.  The new date will be Monday, Feb. 20 (Family Day) at 4:30 pm, Glanbrook Arena.    … The Rangers have a 3-2 record against the RiverHawks.