|Passfield, Delisle, and Lalonde
all score two each in Attack victory
Chalk this game down as a learning experience for a young budding star goalie: Carlo DiRienzo. Despite having an excellent two periods backstopping the Rangers in Owen Sound DiRienzo had a tough go of things in the third frame and was asked to effectively take one for the team during a third period where he allowed six goals on only 14 shots and watched his league leading goals against average balloon to 2.69, now 5th in the league behind Scott Dickie who stands at third with a 2.67 mark. Peter DeBoer had no interest in letting starter: Scott Dickie get exposed to a long overdue Attack onslaught, since the plan will probably be to use Scott down in Plymouth against the Whalers on Monday afternoon.
The Rangers were clearly feeling the effects of what was a very hard hitting, violent game against the Windsor Spitfires the night before, did not get the breaks as they have been lately, and the wheels very quickly once they entered the final period as they lost 8-2. For the first time since Derek Roy and Gregory Campbell departed for the World Junior Championships the Rangers actually looked extremely vulnerable, and the Attack who are more then overdue, having not won in the entire month of December were prime to jump on the Rangers. The Rangers did, however look good in the opening minutes, they stormed 19 year old netminder Marty Magers, fired six shots on goal and a fistful of others which just narrowly missed on the powerplay. The Rangers even beat Magers, but the goal was waved off immediately because of the net being off. Matt Passfield who was skating with a purpose (more than likely to show up coach Peter DeBoer who traded the winger to Mississauga in exchange for the european draft pick which turned out to be: Peter Kanko), threatened early and then scored two nice goals within a minute and a half to give the Attack a quick 2-0 lead.
Surprisingly the early jump and the loud crowd of just under 2,700 in Owen Sound didn't get the Rangers down too much early. The Rangers were blessed with a little luck in the opening seconds of the second period. While forechecking shorthanded Peter Kanko benefited from some ice which wasn't completely frozen and striped the puck from Dan Rogers. What ensued would be one of the wildest plays that many have seen in years. Peter Kanko went in on the breakaway had the puck stick on the ice, lost his chance and then managed to bang the puck in from his knees as Micheal Richards continued into the zone. The turning point of the game probably came in the second period where the Rangers were granted a two-man advantage and failed to convert, the powerplay lasted 1:36 with the Rangers up two men and they failed to have a quality scoring chance, the Attack meanwhile cleared the zone several times.
The third period reminded many long time Rangers fans of the teams past futility in the Bayshore Community Center, the Rangers have not won a postseason game in Owen Sound despite 6 opportunities. Things fell apart for the Rangers very quickly: Alex Lalonde who was playing in his first OHL game (a recent signee of the Attack) scored only 22 seconds into the period, he would also add a second goal later on in the period. Miguel Delisle (who lead the OHL in goal scoring last season with the 67's scored twice) as the Rangers simply abandoned their netminder in the third period. Once the game was out of reach Peter DeBoer started to give many of the rookies such as: Nick Duff, Matt McCann, Paul McFarland, and Cam Fergus lots of ice time. Things also began to degenerate on the ice as the frustrated Rangers had one defender from each line take an early shower as: Marcus Smith, T.J. Eason, and Matt McCann all manged to get in fights in the dying minutes. The best tilt by far involved big Attack rookie winger Mike Angelidis and T.J Eason, Eason had a slight edge because he ended the fight with Angelidis in a headlock. Kanko and Magers even started slashing each other as time expired, as the Rangers were booed off of the ice by the many Attack fans who stayed to the final buzzer.
Pat Sutton who usually keeps to his own end
of the ice had a highly effective game for the Attack, and also chipped
in two assists. The Rangers were not the only team shorthanded on
this night the Attack were without their captian and star forward: Patrick
Jarrett, without their captain the Attack managed to snap their six game
losing streak. Unfortunately the Attack powerplay continued to struggle
despite all of their third period successes going 0 for 6, the Rangers
went 1 for 7 with McGrath scoring an insignificant goal in the third period
after the score was already 6-1. The Rangers did manage to get Peter
Kanko back into the lineup but are starting to sorely miss their two forwards
at the WJC, along with grinders: Thomas Harrison (leg injury), Matt Manias
(flu), and Adam Keefe (sprained ankle) who continue to be out of the lineup.
The loss snapped the Rangers modest 5 game winning streak, and made it
the third game in a row that the Attack (2-0-0-1) were able to claim points
from the Rangers, no other team except Windsor (3-1-0-0) have been able
to claim points from the Rangers in any more than one game this season.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.