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Rangers lucky to recover after blowing 4 goal lead


 
 
Roy stars with second 6 point performance


Matt Harpwood is beaten in second starting an
avalanche of 4 straight Otters goals.
 

Role reversal for Rangers-Otters.  The Otters who dominated the Rangers over the last two seasons posting a an incredible 13-3 record against the boys in blue, might be overdue for a little taste of their own medicine this season.  The Rangers have had their way with the Otters in three matchups this season scoring a total of 24 goals, against a variety of Otter netminders, including: T.J. Aceti, Maxim Marion, and Adam Munro, and the 24th of those goals on an empty net.  Much like last season when the Otters were exceptionally prone to gaining big leads, toying with the Rangers, before shutting them down late the Rangers played the roles reversed.  They lept out to an early 5-1 lead where they dominated the Otters and then fell back letting the Otters score 4 goals in 10 minutes and 36 seconds between the late second period and midway point of the third.

Derek Roy may have surpased his best career night, scoring 6 points for the second time in his career, the first time it happened was in Roy's rookie season in '99-00 against then named Owen Sound Platers.  Along with the Rangers late game complacency, the game had other quirks including Rangers netminder: Matt Harpwood throwing his stick at a puck which was about to enter the net prompting a penalty shot during a delayed minor to the Otters, while the Otters were already shorthanded.  In addition to scoring the winner with 4:15 remaining in the third period to salvage a win, Gregory Campbell had a 4-point game of his own (2-2), the winning goal came on a one-timer.  After lasting through less than half a period surrendering 2 goals prior to being ejected in his last visit to Kitchener, veteran Adam Munro played well despite allowing 6 goals against.  He held the fort in the first period before goals were scored by: Kanko and Roy, Roy's marker coming on the powerplay.  Thankfully the Rangers and specifically: Michael Richards did not feel that revenge was necessary on Munro after the incident during their previous matchup.  Matt Manias connected in the early going of the second period while the teams played 4-on-4.  The always pesky: Brad Bonello broke the shutout for Harpwood on the powerplay.  Roy and McGrath seemingly put the game away later on, opening up a 4-goal lead reminiscent of the lead that carried the Rangers to a 9-1 victory over the Otters earlier this season.  Unfortunately the Rangers shifted into cruise control and Harpwood who was sharp earlier in the game could not come up with a big stop.  Mike Rice tied the affair at the midway point of the third.  With the Otters content to go to overtime trying to protect their tie, the Rangers scored the winner on a nice give and go with Roy and Campbell, both of which have been on some kind of roll while the Rangers have racked up 19 of a possible 22 points in their last 11 games including a 5 game winning streak.

Despite some magnificent solo efforts one can only be dissapointed in the way that the Rangers nearly let this one get away, infront of their own fans nonetheless.  For the Rangers the 5 goals against was their worst defensive effort since they struggled in back-to-back matchups with the Windsor Spitfires to start the season.  Roy's second 6 point performance of his career left him two points short of the franchise record 8 points: established in 1984 by Wayne Presley and equalled a year later by Mike Wolak.  For the slumping Otters it was their 4th straight loss.  Since defenseman: Eade was a scratch from the Otters lineup, the Otters were able to dress both overage netminders: (Aceti and Munro), both team's starters would however finish the game.
 

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