Rangers Spoil Erie Victory Party

Rangers Continue where they left off on Friday night

Roy scoring points with the Rangers this season is as enevitable as the sun rising.  Surprisingly Roy was held off of the scoresheet throughout a dominating 5-0 victory over a weak Sudbury team on Friday, the same could not be said about Roy's visit to Erie.  Roy paced the Rangers earning 4 assists, in a sloppy 8-4 victory over the Otters just one night after being held pointless in his triumphant return to the Rangers.  Roy, who was named team captain on Wednesday despite the absence of Steve Eminger (still with the Washington Capitals), has mile-high expectations this season after coming off of a 89 point performance last season.  Roy as always instantaneously gives the Rangers an all-new dimension the second he arrives, aside from the 2 point-a-game average which many feel that he is capable of this season, Roy also kills penalties, draws powerplays and is starting to become one of the best faceoff men in the OHL.  The most prominant part of Roy's game is probably what many don't even see in Derek, Roy's ability to raise the level of play of those around him.  In addition to his crafty ability to set up goals, which was displayed on more than one occasion in Erie, Roy also demands double-coverage and picks up coverage from the opposition's top defenders, thus leaving his linemates: Rafal Martynowski, Matt Grennier, Chad McCaffery, and Gregory Campbell free to roam with less coverage than they are usually familiar.  Despite the fact that they've only been together two games, newest acquisition: George Halkidis was able to covert from Roy twice on special teams, first on the powerplay and second while shorthanded a two-on-one rush which put the game away for the Rangers, making the score 7-3 at that point.

Rangers and Otters about to score (standing at the glass are: Harpwood, Visenka and Keefe)

The Rangers powerplay one that has stalled out of the gate this year was an impressive 3 for 8 after going 0 for 8 on the previous night.  Kanko, Kinkel and Halkidis all scored on the powerplay, Kanko for the second straight night, scored two goals, finishing the Rangers scoring on the night with an even-strength marker from Richards.  If there was a pitfall it would have been the Rangers penalty killing which surrendered all 4 Otters goals, only 12 powerplay opportunities, the Otters lived and died by the powerplay on this night the Otters momentum died in the late going of the second period when Roy and Halkidis connected shorthanded.  Dave MacQueen called it the turning point and also commented that his Otters team was quote: "living in the past."  It had to be called a sub-par effort for the Otters in their first game at the Tuilio in Erie after they defeated the Barrie Colts in game #5 in the OHL finals in double-overtime.  This night was supposed to a night of celebration for the Otters who entered the game 4-1 on the season, all games on the road, were supposed to come to their home finally, raise a championship banner and dominate the Rangers infront of their first opening game sell-out crowd, a crowd of over 5,500 who surprisingly couldn't be silenced until minutes before the final buzzer when they started filing out of the building.  As the Rangers did on Friday night they simply dominated the game while playing 5-on-5 hockey, which to this point has been in sharp contast to how the Rangers played during last season where their potent powerplay was the bread and butter of their offense.  Another tremendous effort from Rafal Martynowski who might just have the attention of a few scouts at seasons' end and despite the fact that the Rangers were missing both Amodeo and Keefe, they refused to be intimidated by the Otters.  Memorial Cup All-Star team member: T.J. Aceti was pulled after only 10 shots on goal which yielded 6 goals.  He was replaced by: Maxim Marion and because of this, the Erie Otters now owe the Owen Sound Attack a 5th round draft pick, which completes a conditional trade where Owen Sound's pick was contigent on Marion getting game action.  Rangers' netminder: Scott Dickie wasn't overly impressive what is notable is that Scott refused allow the Otters to get back within 2 goals after the first period, and at times during this game, where intensity was lacking.  Brad Bonello was named first start after a three-point performance but left the game early along with 4 others whom all received 10-minute misconducts at various points in the third period.  Mike Rice scored 2 for the hometeam.

Chris Berti was in Erie with the Robertson cup, and for the banner raising ceremonies.  Unfortunately Adam Munro could not be dressed since he is the 4th Erie overager.