Three's wild, as Rangers complete weekend Sweep

Comeback kids make it three straight

In a wild feat of three's the Rangers started 3 goalies (Dickie, Harpwood and DiRienzo) in three cities: (Kitchener, Belleville, and Mississauga), scoring three goals, in each of the three games which featured 3 Rangers come from behind victories, and Petr Kanko even got in on the 'three act' earning 3 points in the 3-2 overtime victory in Belleville.

Rangers take controversial decision in Belleville

Matt Harpwood looks for an incoming point shot, Harpwood 
shut out the Bulls through 2 periods before allowing a pair
in the third period.

Admist controversy the Rangers tied the quick, but close-checking affair in Belleville with absolutely no time left on the clock, and with the Bulls and their 3,000+ fans still fuming the Rangers scored in overtime to defeat the Bulls on the powerplay.  After a beautiful feed from behind the net from Gregory Campbell, Petr Kanko took no time and just wired the puck past Belleville netminder: Mike Mole who simply didn't have a chance at catching the lazer beam which knotted the game at two.   Throughout the two minute mini-intermission prior to the extra period Belleville fans voiced their displeasure with official: Ian Smith who would not consult the goal judge but did meet with fellow linesmen quickly determining that the Rangers goal would stand, despite the fact that the red light would not go on behind Mole.  Immediately after the overtime had started: Adam Paiement would take a slashing penalty, perhaps in frustration of what had just happened.  With more garbage starting to hit the ice at this point former Ranger, and current Bulls coach: Jim Hulton threw a white towel on to the ice, which may have prompted another penalty had one of the linesmen not quickly picked it up and put it on the bench.  The penalty gave the Rangers 5 powerplays on the night (one more than the Bulls) and proved to be the difference as Derek Roy made the Bulls pay in a big way less than one minute later on a give and go with Peter Kanko whom recorded his third point of the night, participating in all 3 Rangers goals.

The Rangers big line of Kanko, Roy and Campbell scored all three goals for the Rangers led by Petr Kanko who recorded: 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist).  The Rangers got on the board with a lucky goal at the midway point of the second period.  The Rangers as the 67's where the night before very dominant through two periods, the Rangers led only 1-0 but outshot the Bulls 30-11 through two.  In the third period the Bulls turned up the intensity in front of their home crowd.  After outplaying the Rangers through most of the third period, Cody McCormick finally beat Matt Harpwood who came up with another solid road effort in Belleville (improving to 2-0 in his OHL career in Belleville with a 1.50 GAA).  While the Bulls were only credited with 11 shots through two periods they still had their chances, and more often than not Matt Harpwood forced shots wide with good positioning when called upon.  Matt Stajan, who was easily the most dominant set the Belleville crowd into a frenzy scoring with under two minutes remaining in regulation time.  Also delighting Belleville fans was: Cody McCormick who after wrestling with overaged defender T.J. Eason to start the fight took over a landed a few shots on the temporary Rangers heavyweight.

Game Notes: David Clarkson was out of the lineup serving the first of a two game suspension, Rafal Martynowski was out of the lineup again nursing an injury, and Matt McCann along with netminder: Scott Dickie were all healthy scratches for the Rangers.

Rookie netminder stars in first OHL victory.

DiRienzo watches as a puck sails wide on an Ice Dogs
powerplay, DiRienzo received first star in his first OHL
victory in Mississauga.

The Rangers suffered their longest offensive power outage since their season opener a dissapointing 5-0 loss in their season opener to the Windsor Spitfires.  Andre Benoit on the powerplay scored the first Rangers goal of the game nearly halfway through the third period, on a shot which floated over Miguel Beaudry's shoulder through a screen set up by: rookie Todd McFarland.  McFarland seeing rare powerplay time was key in the goal, though he didn't get credited with an assist on the play.  After sailing a dozen or more shots over the shoulder of Miguel Beaudry trying to capitalize on the height of the shorter than average netminder the Rangers persistence in shooting high finally paid off.  Beaudry had an excellent game and as Belleville fans saw the night before positioning forced the shots to go predominantly high and at times wide of the Mississauga goal.  Until that point of the game: Miguel Beaudry had top star honors all but wrapped up.  Petr Kanko who had 6 points on the weekend (4-2-6) beat Beaudry moments later taking a nice feed from Gregory Campbell.

The Ice Dogs coach, once a leading candidate for the head coaching position in Kitchener made a couple of ill-advised plays, in the second period he absorbed a delay of game penalty when the Ice Dogs were poised to take a two-man advantage for 26 seconds.  In the late going Steve Ludzik decided to try and buy some time by removing Miguel Beaudry in favour of a cold Matt Tanel to stall for time.  The move failed as Tanel was beaten on a very weak goal by Roy which was more or less a broken play, just 15 seconds after entering the game for Tanel.  Rob Schremp opened the scoring for the Ice Dogs on the powerplay with a screened point shot, not unlike the one that opened the scoring for the Rangers.  Schremp was the first overall pick in the 2002 OHL entry draft and looked extremely impressive playing against the Rangers for the first time.  Former Ranger: Mike Wehrstedt broke through the Rangers defense but failed to beat Carlo DiRienzo in the second period.  While Derek Roy's goal was extremely soft, Roy did have another opportunity in front of Beaudry with virtually no room where he stick handled trying to get Beaudry to lunge out and poke-check him, but the veteran overager netminder would have none of it and held his cool letting Roy finally run out of both room and time.  Unlike in his previous starts DiRienzo was called upon early and often in this matchup, which probably helped the 16 year old gain his composure in this pressure start.

Game notes: The Rangers are now a perfect 9-0-0-0 vs the Mississauga Ice Dogs lifetime since 1998.  David Clarkson served up the final game in a 2 game suspension.  Former Owen Sound Attack player: Greg Jacina missed the game for the Ice Dogs.  Rafal Martynowski missed his 5th straight game injured.  The Rangers in their third game in two and one half days elected to better utilize their bench, using all 18 skaters they had dressed.  The Rangers are now 6-0-2-1 in their last 9 games (15 points of 18 possible).