|Rangers refuse to follow script
on Teddy Bear night
Netminder: Carlo DiRienzo may have hid from the teddy bears in the first period, but refused to hide from London shooters who bombarded the rookie with 49 shots. It isn't often that a goalie allows 4 goals and walks away the game's hero, yet it happened on this night. DiRienzo who has averaged half as many goals allowed in most of his starts, yet this one may have been his best. Carlo's goals against climbed to 2.20 which still paces the OHL. When Ryan Hare scored at the 5:45 mark of the first period, it was the 11th shot on goal for the Knights. Just over 2500 bears showered on to the ice to celebrate the goal, from the 6,453 in attendance. The output was great however nearly half of the over 5000 collected in Kitchener.
The Rangers and noticably DiRienzo who on this night stole from the point poor Knights, were not in an overly charitable mood. While they didn't shutout the Knights as the Battalion did to the Storm earlier this season on teddy bear night, the Rangers weren't about to follow the plot line of, everyone in London going home happy that night with the Knights winning and the charities winning. George Halkidis struck back only minutes after the lengthy teddy bear delay on a Rangers powerplay, that shot was the Rangers first on big rookie: Gerald Coleman, starting in place of the injured: Chris Houle. As they were the night before the Rangers specialty units produced for the Rangers. The powerplay was a slick 2 for 5 on the night, and the penalty killing allowed only one powerplay goal in 7 powerplay opportunities, the goal came on a 4-on-3 advantage. Not only do the Rangers lead the league with an astonishing 89.1% penalty kill, they also have 7 shorthanded goals. Matt Grennier's goal to tie the game at two in the first period came while the Knights were on a powerplay. Though it was late no goal sucked the life out of the Knights as much as Kanko's powerplay marker with only seconds left in the second period, immediately after Hare had tied the game with his second of the night on the Knights' powerplay. Hare wasn't the only player in the game to turn on the red light twice, Kanko and O'Nabigon also netted two. Hare and Kanko were named first and second stars of the game respectively.
Kanko's second goal came early in the second period and for the first time in the game one of the teams had opened up a two-goal lead. The goal turned out to be the eventual winner but the Knights were far from deflated after the goal, for the next 17 minutes they had the Rangers running around on their heals, for forwards like Martynowski, O'Nabigon, and Clarkson they were probably suffering the effects of playing their third games in three nights with their expanded roles. Dylan Hunter scored only seconds after Kanko's goal but DiRienzo held the fort. Carlo was forced to several huge saves, including several rebounds. O'Nabigon beat out a London's Corey Perry and after his poor angle empty net shot was blocked, O'Nabigon drove to the net, and deposited the puck in from behind the line for O'Nabigon it was his first multi-goal game with the Rangers.
On this night Carlo DiRienzo clearly outclassed
fellow rookie Gerald Coleman who did not start in goal for the third period.
He was replaced by Matt Iorianni to start the third. DiRienzo appeared
to have barely made it through the second period after a scrum in the crease
led to DiRienzo leaving the crease in a lame state, and a visit from Dan
Lebold, fortunately Carlo was able to continue. For DiRienzo it was
a fantastic start after sitting on the bench and watching Dickie start
the previous three. A season high for Dickie in terms of consecutive
starts. Despite the amazing start from DiRienzo, the rookie netminder
only received 3rd star. Perhaps the Rangers didn't deserve to win
this one, on the other hand the Rangers did dominate and came home empty
handed in their last visit to the John Labatt Center, so things eventually
do balance out.
Special Thanks to Duct Tape for the excellent shots
of the John Labatt Center