|Rangers toy with 'Hounds through
2, before dominating in the third period
There's no arguing that there was lots of activity surounding Dwight LaBrosse on Friday night, just not the kind of fireworks that Rangers fans were treated to last season when Mike Amodeo and LaBrosse meet up a center ice at the end of two periods. There were many adventures in the goal crease and even behind LaBrosse, who one could argue had a very strong or very lucky outing in Kitchener. Many times in all three periods, LaBrosse had pucks trickle behind him and nearly into the gaping net. The best example might have been Roy's move shorthanded where Derek Roy made the perfect play to deke LaBrosse but with both time and room running out for Derek the puck came to a rest on the left goalpost. After a Rangers' powerplay came close several times, a penalty called for illegal starting lineup to the 'Hounds, Jeff Larsh beat Scott Dickie, unfortunately for the 'Hounds unlike the previous meeting they would strike once early and then were not capable of following up with another goal (Larsh would go on to score a hattrick in Saginaw on Saturday night).
The Rangers got goals from the most unlikely of sources, this Friday night. Adam Keefe (shown the to left fighting the Soo's Matt Herneisen, in what almost turned into a chaotic scirmish). Keefe roofed a shot on LaBrosse with the man-advatage to tie the game late in the first period. This coming after Roy spectacular opportunity was only thwarted by the goalpost. For Keefe it was his first goal as a Ranger, which was 53 games in the making. As they did during last season, the Rangers lived by the powerplay in this matchup. The eventual winner was scored by Andre Benoit on a high but screened point shot at the halfway point of the second period with Brad Staubitz in the box for checking-from-behind. Matt Herneisen (named the game's 2nd star in Soo's only other visit to the Aud this season) had a busy night, but unlike in his previous visit, Matt was busier with his fists, and not his stick. Herneisen fought with big Rangers' blueliner: Thomas Harrison, Harrison landed a couple more hard punches in what was a wild back and forth fight. In the third period with local man of chaos Adam Keefe stirring the pot between the benches, overager: Herneisen again decided to stand up for his teammates squaring off with Keefe, showing no ill effects from the first battle, Herneisen dominated, but the fight still delighted the surprisingly high Rangers crowd of: 5,498 (second only to the Thanksgiving day matchup with the rival Guelph Storm.
Not that the Rangers didn't play well in the first two periods, but in the third they let the Greyhounds know that play time was over. They got to business early with Kanko scoring just one minute and nine seconds into the period. The Rangers onslaught in the third period included 20 shots in total, and perhaps the sweetest of the goals came off of David Clarkson's stick when he put the game away for good, by undressing netminder LaBrosse, whom received absolutely no help from his defenseman on this play, and it resulted in Clarkson depositing the puck into the wide open net. In the final 5 minutes of the game things got chippy but official Carmen Cox did his best at the game by issuing several 10-minute misconducts.
The loss left the Greyhounds in the Western conference cellar, after a win by Owen Sound on Thursday vaulted the Attack into a tie for 8th place with reigning champion: Erie Otters. The Rangers have picked up points in 10 straight games (7-0-2-1) including a 4-game winning streak that they are riding. The Mike Amodeo watch is still on, after this weekend his suspension will be down to 10 games remaining. One day prior to this game George McPhee gave the Rangers some closure regarding the Steve Eminger situation saying that Eminger is going to stay with the Washington Capitals for the season, moving in and out of the lineup.