|Rangers continue where they
left off in Erie
starter Adam Munro (shown to the left) was ejected just over 5 minutes
into the game after a vicious high stick on Rangers' forward: Michael Richards.
Munro had a tough night, after newcomer: David Clarkson stepped aside allowing
an Erie defenseman to bowl over the netminder after a whistle Munro had
enough of the Rangers flagerent use of the crease and swung his stick at
Richards whom had just cruised through the crease. Richards' unsuspecting
teammates came to his rescue but not having seen the incident they primarily
attacked the Erie defensemen. Munro has been in tough in his last
two starts: the picture above shows him making a spectacular save which
also caused a groin injury which would cost him his starter job in Erie
because of T.J. Aceti's acquisition from the Oshawa Generals.
Paul McFarland scored his first OHL goal at 11:56 of the third period capping off the Rangers scoring, and giving them a 9-0 lead. McFarland's first came at the end of a barrage of shots which in a shade under eleven and one half minutes netted the Rangers 5 goals. Unlike when the Rangers bombed the Battalion 10-0 last season there was little remorse in this victory for the Rangers. The Otters had manhandled the Rangers over the last few seasons compiling a 13-3 record against the Rangers, a record somewhat similar to the Rangers margin victory in the two games combined where they outscored the Otters by a combined 17-5. Aside from dissapointing the Rangers repeatedly over the last few seasons the Otters (or at least the Erie media) seemed to relish the idea that their team had knocked the Rangers out of Memorial Cup hosting contention (this coming in retaliation to an article where the Record implied that teams like Erie and their arena had no chance at being given the chance to host the tourney.
Dave McQueen who commented that the Otters were, "living in the past" after their devastating home opener could well make the same comments about this Friday night's game, accept the Otters perhaps could only wish that they played as well as they had down in Erie being handed a convincing: 8-4 loss. According to GoErie.com: "The Erie Otters suffered their worst loss in five seasons Friday night . . . The Otters (4-3-0) lost to the Guelph Storm 10-2 on Oct. 25, 1997." The Rangers powerplay for the second straight game continued to ride the wave, going 4-for-8 against the Otters and 7-for-16 (43.8%) in the two home-at-home games combined. Derek Roy (1-3) and Gregory Campbell (2-2) paced the Rangers with 4 points each. Roy now has 9 points since returning to the Rangers to lead the team, including 8 in his last two games, those 9 points pace the team despite only playing in less than half the games that the majority of the team has played in. Big Bill Kinkel, property of New Jersey continued his strong play infront of the opposition net, scoring his third goal of the season. David Clarkson scored his first goal in his first game with the Rangers on a nice feed from Derek Roy. David Herring broke up Matt Harpwood's shutout streak just before it could top 120 minutes, with just over 6 minutes left in the third period. Harpwood, who had an excellent effort against the Wolves one week before was strong again, perhaps more impressive was the Rangers defensive composure despite the big lead.
With the Rangers strikes so fast and often it is unfortunately that the highlights of this game didn't center around the actual goals being scored. With the Rangers up 2-0, Erie overaged netminder: Adam Munro took a vicious chop at Rangers' sophomore: Michael Richards' the careless spear (perhaps only caught because of the two-official system in place on this night) resulted in a Match-penalty for highsticking, a 3 game-suspension is automatic and the league may decide to tack on more games, considering the severity of the injuries which could have been received it might be advisable. The Rangers unknowing of what happened immediately came to Richards' aid and out of the pile Andre Benoit and Erie's Mike McKeown came out slugging. This wasn't the only time that the Rangers' came to their teammates aid though, T.J. Eason took an instigator settling a score with Erie defenseman: Brian Lee and Marcus Smith also came after Scott Dobben after a hit from behind, which resulted in a double minor. Things appeared to have completely degenerated late in the second with the score 4-0, with 3 seconds left in the period Bill Kinkel and Mike Keown dropped the gloves at center ice and with time expired off the faceoff: Gregory Campbell and David Herring fought.
The Rangers simply dominated the third, it tooked like a perpetual Rangers powerplay at times as the Otters were simply unable to clear the pucks and one can only feel for netminder: Maxim Marion who did make some spectacular saves but didn't get much in the way of help from his teammates, making some spectacular saves while the Otters were outshot 56-21 through three periods. The Rangers really broke through in the third period putting a five-spot on the board, but the effort was well dispersed throughout the game, and the Rangers could have just as easily scored 5 goals in either of the first two periods as well! Rafal Martynowski who had points in his last two games had another strong effort but was unable to register a point.
Otters top scorer: Mike Rice left in the first
and would not return, Rangers made: Scott Dickie, Matt McCann, and David
Frawley scrathes (all healthy) in addition Mike Amodeo and Adam Keefe continue
to serve up suspensions from last postseason (Keefe is down to 2 games
remaining and will be eligable to return next weekend).