|Rookie Netminder continues home
Carlo DiRienzo anxious to prove himself infront of 5,903 fans at the Memorial Auditorium will have to wait for another opportunity. The crowd only 6 less than last weeks' season high in Kitchener witnessed Tyson Kellerman putting on a clinic at one end, and a nervous rookie netminder at the other. DiRienzo's only other home start was a tough-luck 4-1 early season loss to the Brampton Battalion. Chosen as one of the two netminders to represent the OHL West in the Hershey Cup all-star series, Kellerman will have another chance to wow the Rangers faithful in two weeks' time, this time with the approval of most of the expected 6000 plus which should be in attendance. Kellerman had to face an astonishing 59 shots, and made 56 saves, many of them being of the incredible variety. The dejected Rangers whom could not score the insurance goal that they needed to put the game away skated off of the ice quickly, while the Spirit in sharp contrast stayed on the ice to celebrate after the game, congradulating Kellerman who was a lock for the number one star of the game. Many frustrated Rangers during the after game show on NewsTalk 570 showed their frustrations with not being able to finish off the Spirit. While the Spirit did not generate too many scoring chances in the third frame, they did put the pucks on net, and could be credited with putting some offensive pressure on the Rangers, at least more than in any previous period. The Rangers had to hang on at the end of overtime killing a minor penalty to end the game.
Specialty teams were the order of the day for the Rangers, Derek Roy scored on what could only be called a spectacular shorthanded one-man rush defying all five Spirit players, circling the back of the net and stuffing a puck which just barely squeezed in shortside past Kellerman. This coming after a floater which was almost a carbon copy of one of the goals scored in Barrie against the rookie netminder, handcuffing him. As per usual lately the Rangers powerplay unit continued to play a big part in Rangers scoring, Campbell beat Kellerman and then early in the third David Clarkson, a healthy scratch in the previous two games, excelled when given the chance giving the Rangers a two-goal cushion.
The Rangers got complacent with the lead in the third, they played well defensively but did not have the drive to generate chances of their own. Chris Thorburn scored his second of the game to bring the Spirit to within one, before Greg Goodnough tied the game at 3, once the game was tied the Rangers tried to shift the offense into high gear but failed to score in scrambles prior to the buzzer. Peter Kanko whom was hit hard by Saginaw overager: Peter Flache was forced to leave the game with a hip flexor and is not expected to be available for Sunday night's game against the London Knights.
The veteran filled Rangers team entered the game well aware of some of the wild angles and weird bounces that Peterborough Memorial Arena, aware and ready to react. The Rangers on this night seemed unfazed by the awkward corners, the Petes meanwhile nearly had their own glass deal a crushing blow to the team before Greg Campbell's powerplay strike with 7:19 left in regulation. After the Evgeny Kadatskiy tied the game at 2 a piece with only 25 seconds remaining in the second period Andre Benoit cleared a shot in around the glass which caught a partition and just barely missed the net that Currie had vacated to play the puck behind the net, missing the far post by only inches.
It was an entertaining game in Peterborough, two very well matched teams and the home maroon and white received some excellent netminding from overager: David Currie, who stopped 38 of 42 shots in a losing effort for the Petes. Both Roy (1-2) for the Rangers and Tardif for the Petes (2-1) had three points a piece being named second and first stars of the game respectively. Lukas Krajicek rounded out the three star selection, based on a strong two-way effort along with two assists. While the Petes did lose the game, 17-year old Jamie Tardif was probably named the games' top star because of his physical play along with thundering hits. Scouts must have been present for this matchup, with Tardif (2-1), Staal (0-3) and Richards (0-1) all eligable for this year's NHL draft all playing in one game, there is good reason to think that all three could go in the top 25 picks.
The Petes opened the scoring in the second period scoring just as the first Rangers penalty in a two-man advantage expired. Roy replied for the Rangers and then Martynowski whose line has been very impressive of late scored to give the Rangers their first lead. After a Petes goal and a near lucky bounce empty netter for the Rangers the team's entered the intermission tied at two. Jamie Tardif got the Petes out to a quick lead in the third period and the Petes nearly scored a second goal for a two-goal lead minutes later. The puck from behind the net ended up between Dickie's skates, in the nick of time, the puck was fired out from between his legs lying inches from the red line, where it was greated by a Petes stick, one that failed to put the puck past an unsuspecting Scott Dickie, whose performance left a little to be desired, however was good enough for the W in the end. 4-on-4 the Petes have traditionally struggled under coach Rick Allain and Andre Benoit simply launched a floater direct off of the faceoff which found room behind David Currie to tie the game at three. With the powerplay two minutes later the exact same thing happened from the faceoff circle clean win by Roy back to Benoit, only this time Currie was ready for the point shot, just not the deadly tip by Greg Campbell which turned out to be the winner. After getting the go-ahead goal the Rangers didn't give the Petes much of a chance, and after an impatient as well as ill-advised hitting from behind minor to Krajicek, the Petes put themselves into a bigger hole with only 19 seconds left by calling for a stick measurement on Derek Roy which failed to produce an illegal blade. The Petes finished the game two men down and lost 4-3.
The announced attendance was 2516, on a two-for-one
promotion night where children or students could get free tickets with
the purchase of one adult ticket. The win in Peterborough helped
avenge a terrible 7-4 blowout in the liftlock city just one year earlier.