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Rangers' play role of Turkey in Thanksgiving day matchup


 
 
Campbell's hat-trick good for a tie


Greg 'Soupy' Campbell, shown with the Whalers had the first hattrick
in the young Rangers season.  Photo courtesy of: Whalerfan.com

In his first 6 games power forward: Gregory Campbell remained in neutral, in one weekend Greg Campbell shifted it into high gear, first on Friday night Campbell scored his first two goals of the season, on Monday he scored the first three goals for the Rangers, despite the outburst by Campbell the Rangers were unable to defeat the Storm and had to settle for a 4-all tie.  Campbell's 3 goals all came on the powerplay, the first two being nearly indentical scenarios with shots coming off of Halkidis' stick and simply being tipped infront of the net by Campbell who's highly sought after hands are finally paying off.  Campbell wasn't the only Ranger with three points.  Overaged defender: George Halkidis contributed accurate point shots on each of Campbell's first two goals and then scored what appeared to the winner on a beautiful feed by Michael Richards as Halkidis snuck into the rush.  Unfortunately due to a breakdown with just over 2 minutes left the game was sent into overtime and nothing was settled from there.

The hot hand for the Rangers continues to be their powerplay which went three for seven against the Storm (all goals scored by Campbell), and are 10 for 28 in their last four games (35.7%).  This was impressive for a powerplay which until 4 games ago was operating at only 8%, acquisition: George Halkidis made all of the difference in the world for the Rangers.  Halkidis now has 6 points during the Rangers last 5 games, numbers sure to put him amongst the league's elite in terms of defensemen scoring by seasons' end.

Emerging OHL superstar: Daniel Paille, whom is entering his third season in the OHL matched Gregory Campbell, Marcus Smith and George Halkidis with 3 points himself.  Paille got the Storm on the board in the second period, with two goals within 90 seconds to tie the game at 2 a piece.  Dan Paille was a first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL entry draft, 22nd overall.  Paille only 18 has already participated in both the under 17 and under 18 championships representing Ontario and Canada, and over the summer was invited to the WJC team camp.  Paille registered a goal on the most important goal of the game in the very late going as he set up second year forward Colin Power with the tying goal.  The Rangers could be accused of blowing opportunities, the Rangers quickly got out to a 2-0 lead on powerplay markers by Campbell but the Rangers were unable to take a strangle-hold as they did against the Otters and the Wolves once they established a two-goal lead.  The Rangers got a 4-minute powerplay and were unable to score goals, and most of the shots on goal came off of the stick of Halkidis, but unfortunately no other Rangers were able to get their stick on the pucks to deflect them past the netminder.  The Rangers held a 14-4 shots edge after one period which dwindled to a 37-29 advantage by the end of overtime, an extra frame which saw the Rangers powerplay enable to capitalize on a 4-3 full two-minute man advantage.  McQuigge, the official in charge called 15 minors to each team, and an additional 4 minute-minor to the Guelph Storm for an accidental high-stick.  After many high-strung and often near out of control games last season, this game was relatively tame, and at times showed some intensity along with thundering checks.  The Rangers took the tightly fought season series 3-2-3-0 last season, before losing the series that actually mattered where they were eliminated in four-straight by the Memorial Cup hosts.  Last season was the second consecutive season that the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs by their rival Guelph Storm.

Rafal Martynowski missed his second straight game for the Rangers, Matt McCann was a healthy scratch, and Adam Keefe served his last game of a 10-game suspension.  The Rangers have now recorded points in 6 straight games (3-0-2-1), all 6 of which the Rangers scored first in, and five of which the Rangers have had 2-0 leads.  The Rangers in their first ever Thanksgiving afternoon matchup drew a season-high crowd of 5,697.
 

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