|DiRienzo earns 2nd straight
shutout in Rangers' victory
The Majors showed up with new threads, introducing a new third jersey, their game against the Rangers might make them think twice before wearing those jerseys again. The Rangers caught a few early breaks and the romp was on. The Rangers for the first time since their 7-5 sloppy victory over the Otters really turned on the red light. 8 times infact, however one of those goals was disallowed because of some inadvertant goaltender interference while the Rangers were on the powerplay.
Rangers rookie netminder Carlo DiRienzo has done what Matt Harpwood fell just barely short of earlier this season and that complete a 120 minutes of shutout hockey, infact DiRienzo hasn't been scored on in over 7 periods of hockey. Despite the fact that DiRienzo continues to sparkle on the road, his three star stock has dropped game after game. In Mississauga he allowed one goal and was awarded first star, in Sudbury after his first career shutout he was given 2nd star, this past Sunday in Toronto he picked up third start. Michael Richards was awarded first star on Sunday afternoon and with good cause. His line, formed with recently acquired: Nathan O'Nabigon and crafty Rafal Martynowski whom just returned from injury was responsible for 4 of the 7 Rangers goals. Richards had several glorious opportunities in the first period but failed to connect, in the second period Richards connected twice giving the Rangers a 4-0 lead. In the third he completed the hattrick finishing the Rangers scoring for the afternoon. O'Nabigon took home second star honors scoring in the first, from Richards, and then he returned the favour in the second period by powering his way past a Toronto defender passing to Richards whom undressed Eastern Conference All-Star netminder: Andy Chiodo. Veteran Rangers netminder: Scott Dickie whose equipment is done in opposite color design to Carlo's, was quick to congradulate DiRienzo on his second straight goose-egg of the year.
Adam Keefe had a busy first period for the Rangers, he opened up the scoring for the Rangers at the 4:03 mark and then in typical Keefe fashion picked a fight. Rawski was the victim of several punches and a quick but hard fall against an ambitious Keefe. The Rangers unlike in previous years and perhaps earlier this season were relying on all four lines. Big Bill Kinkel scored the fifth Rangers goal, the eventual cause of Andy Chiodo's departure and Justin Peters starting the third period. The Majors obviously got the memo about the dangerous Campbell-Roy-Kanko line, and due to most of their attention going to that line, the second line, led by Michael Richards (3-1-4) dominated the game. After a very lackluster start in London the night before the Rangers team made a statement and ended it with an exclamation point thoroughly dominating the defending Central division champs and current Central division leaders. The Majors top scorer: Tim Brent was out because of a very ugly hit from behind into the boards in London two nights prior. The win, in a way helped some of the Rangers veterans like Derek Roy feel that they had avenged the 10-0 drubbing that the Rangers received in Toronto during the 2000-2001 season.
13's lucky for the Knights
Things did not go as planned for the Rangers at the brand new John Labatt Centre in London, despite holding the Knights to only 13 shots, the Rangers dropped a 3-2 decision to the Knights. Scott Dickie for the first time played in the newest building in the OHL in his hometown, unfortunately the beautiful John Labatt Centre so far hasn't treated him much better than the Ice House, the former home of the Knights.
The Rangers got off to a slow start, yeilding goals to Matt Weir and a powerplay marker by Kyle Quincey put the Knights up 2-0 infront of one of many very large, very noisey London crowds. Resident Knights tough guy Chris Bain had a busy period fighting first Adam Keefe and then Bill Kinkel, both fights occured nearly immediately after Knight goals, and both served only to motivate the Knights and their fans. The second period was a weird one. There were two lengthy glass delays. The Rangers twice busted out panes of the seemed glass at the ends of the rink, the second breaked caused the final 2+ minutes of the second period to be added in the third. The Rangers outshot the Knights 6-2 in a closs-checking period which the Rangers controlled. Mike Richards scored in late second, after the 2nd intermission, bringing the Rangers to within one. The third period was wild. Piwowarczyck undressed Dickie restoring the two goal lead, and from that point onward the Rangers dominated the play, the Rangers strong play finally paid off, when Michael Richards threw the puck infront of the net and Evan McGrath batted the puck out of the air while behind Houle with a backhand. The wave also circled the filled upper deck of the John Labatt Centre at times throughout the third period. Several Rangers including Derek Roy were absolutely robbed at point blank range by overage netminder: Chris Houle who was sensation at times, especially in the late going with Dickie out in favour of the extra attacker from with several thwarted opportunities coming from point blank range.
The Rangers 8 game winning streak, along with
Derek Roy's 13 game point streak both came to an end on this night.
Thomas Harrison was victim of a puck to the face, had three teeth knocked
out and did not return to action. For the Rangers this was the biggest
crowd that they had run into all season long, the John Labatt Centre is
a spectacular venue which in many ways is like a mini Air Canada Centre.
Special Thanks to Duct Tape for the brilliant London pictures.