Rangers drop heartbreaker to Colts

Netminding the difference in OT loss

Barrie's Paulo Coliaicovo was the difference in a tight-checking
overtime loss to the Colts on Saturday night.

After two convincing victories over the Otters, the Rangers undefeated in 4, and riding a 3-game winning streak, dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to the Barrie Colts.  Carlo DiRienzo started in his second game for the Rangers and as he did against the Battalion, Carlo struggled in Barrie.  Shortly after the Rangers took a lead on a superb solo effort by: Petr Kanko, Nick Lees stepped over the Rangers blueline with the puck and wristed a weak shot past DiRienzo, it would be the first shot that the young goalie would see for the game.  Like the howitzer that finished the game off of Kenny Jung's stick it found it's way past the young Rangers netminder.  DiRienzo's undoing was a complete inability to control and smother rebounds.  Another two points for Derek Roy gives him 11 in his 4 game old season.  4th year defender: T.J. Eason scored his first goal in 3 seasons.  The stay-at-home defender this season shouldn't be relegated to battling it out with Scott Dickie for the assists this season as he was last season.

Fortunately the Colts have had the pleasure of having some of the top netminders in the OHL perform for them.  Coliaicovo continues that tradition.  Despite the fact that Coliaicovo was shut out from the three star selections, perhaps because the Colts brass is so familar with the luxury of excellent netminders, had an excellent game.  Paolo, twin brother of Erie's Carlo Coliaiacovo, was rock solid, acting like a vacuum cleaner on most shots, controlling rebounds, and most of the time limiting them altogether.  The same could not be said for the smaller rookie at the other end of the ice, clearly the lesser busy of the two: DiRienzo often fought the puck and even had to make a falling grab on a textbook shot from the blueline which nearly illuded him, while he could not be blamed for the overtime goal, it was a poor rebound control which directly lead to the chance, and Jung made no mistake in ripping it past DiRienzo.

The game was extremely close checking, and as evidenced with the 8 total powerplays awarded by official: Park, most of the little things were not called but the penalties were consistent throughout the game.  The Rangers simply were not afforded the chanced that they were in their previous 4 games, but still took the play to the Colts through all three periods of the game.  The Colts best play was early in the third period.  Things went wrong very quickly for the Rangers in the late going of the second period.  Nick Lees scored during a Rangers' defensive breakdown and less than 30 seconds later Luc Chiasson scored giving the Colts what appeared at the time to be an insurmountable lead.  Confusion then struck as McCaffery and the Rangers looked to have scored a goal, but after much delay and conferencing the officials unfortunately came to the incorrect conclusion of: No goal.  Unlike in previous seasons the Rangers appeared unfazed by the missed call, and rather than arguing it they simply went back to business.

In the third the Rangers got a goal from an unlikely source to bringt them back to within one goal, T.J. Eason scored for the first time since his rookie season to make the score 3-2.  Then after timeouts by Kitchener and then the home town Colts and many of the 3,500 in attendance out at their cars Michael Richards tied the game for the Rangers.

While the Rangers did lose, they secured a point on Richards' huge tying goal, something that they failed to do last season with the netminder out for the extra attacker.  Rafal Martynowski for an unknown reason was scratched from the Rangers lineup.