|Rangers make it two in a row
against hated rivals
For the 8th straight year, the Rangers enlisted the help of some of the Waterloo regions fuzziest, in fact a franchise-high 5,051 of them. A season-high crowd was entertained by the Rangers who had a commanding two-goal lead for most of the game, winning 3-2 over the hated Guelph Storm on Tuesday. After a Storm penalty 13 seconds into the game, Evan McGrath and the Rangers didn't waste much time is getting to Andrew Penner. Only 7 seconds later Evan McGrath had the puck in the net and the bears airborne. Dickie and Penner were the only individuals in the building safe from the barrage of bears hiding in their nets waiting for the 'rain' to stop.
A record high in attendance by both fans and their stuffed compains as a 6,030 Rangers fans went through the turnstiles, making it not only the highest attendance for a teddy bear game, but also a season high. The quick call by official Steve Webb was an extremely negative sign of things to come. The game was littered in penalties, and powerplays, the Rangers scored 2 powerplay goals on 3 opportunities in the first, only went 2 for 10 overall continuing a dismal streak which started in Guelph the past Thursday. Also as they did on the past Thursday the Storm as shut down Derek Roy and Co. Michael Richards and Nathan O'Nabigon continued their hot play of late, O'Nabigon picked up two assists while being on the ice for all three of the Rangers goals in the first period. Michael Richards earned top star honors for his goal and two assists.
After the four goals scored in the first both team's penalty killing units went into high-gear, along with the most important penalty killers: netminders: Scott Dickie and Andrew Penner. Dickie while only facing 24 shots was called upon to make some sensational saves, Andrew Penner also kept his team in the game multiple times in the second period.
While the Rangers 'all-star line' hasn't been tearing it up of late it is obvious that the opposition is targetting them not realizing that the Rangers effectively have 3 scoring units and a fourth-line that rivals some of the best third lines in the league. Daniel Paille had both of the Storm makers, the second of which was scored with only 1:03 left in regulation time with Penner on the bench, after Paille's goal the Rangers effectively kept the Storm bottled up and out of the zone.
Rafal Martynowski had an OHL first fight against Guelph's Geoff Patton, otherwise the game's pace and emotion was marred by an excessive amount of penalties and the threat of more penalties.