It was back to the future for the Kitchener Rangers.
In London, Sunday, the Kitchener Rangers started Nathan Torchia in goal; his first start in the Ontario Hockey League.
Torchia is the son of Rangers goalie-great Mike Torchia.
"He doesn't go into too much detail about anything," said Nathan of his Dad. "He just said, ‘Have fun. Do your thing. You've been doing well this year, so just battle and have a good time, you're going to enjoy it.’ I enjoyed it. It was a fun experience."
Mike spent three years in a Blueshirt, leading the team to a Memorial Cup Final in 1990, before making his way to the pro-ranks, playing 10 years including six games in the NHL.
Nathan was originally drafted by the Oshawa Generals and after a brief stopover in Owen Sound, he found his way to Kitchener.
"Obviously with my Dad playing here too, it was pretty cool," said Torchia. "A lot of people were kind of laughing at the fact that I'm here as well, but I'm just here to help out the guys and do whatever I can to help the team win."
He tried to do that, Sunday. But, London scored three goals in the second period and the Knights nipped the Rangers 5-3, for their eighth straight win over Kitchener.
"[Torchia]’s put in a tough position, we understand that. He’s obviously going to be very nervous," said McKee. "He might have wanted to have a couple of them back, but he made some big saves for us and bottom line is, regardless of who’s in net, we need to be better in front of them, especially defensively."
"We're making decisions, over and over, defensively that are giving other teams too good of opportunities. It’s getting to a breaking point (…) There needs to be a level of pride in our room," said McKee. "At some point, we have to take a little more pride in the decision-making we're having on the ice. We're too easy to score against right now and that comes down to the decision making and execution."
It’s the seventh loss in nine games for the Rangers, and head coach Jay McKee is getting sick of the same problems happening.
"I believe we have better in our room than we're showing right now," said McKee. "We're not where we need to be. You want to talk about the first quarter, no. We're not happy with it. I don't want to look back, I want to look forward at how to make this team better every day."
Sunday was only the third time in the first 18 games of the season the Rangers have suited-up their top-six forwards.
They'll have to wait for a fourth. Liam Hawse was assessed a Major penalty for a slew foot in the third period and will receive an automatic two-game suspension.
The Rangers are at home Tuesday to Hawel’s former team, the Guelph Storm.
Story by Chris Pope