|Mike Chmielewski named 3rd star
with two goals
Perhaps the Majors will think twice before piling in goal after goal against the Rangers as they did a two years back in a 10-0 victory over a Rangers team which by season's end would find itself out of a playoff spot. The Toronto Majors and their All-Star netmidner have now twice been victims of Rangers' 7 goal onslaughts, one would think that a team missing forwards the calibre of Campbell and Roy being absent from the Rangers lineup would cause the Rangers' scoring to drop. The Majors have struggled mightily against this year's edition of the Kitchener Rangers. A humiliating 7-0 loss in their own arena followed by a mess of a game in Kitchener. Probably most intriging is how the Rangers have managed to sink the Majors this season. A quartet of underagers have given the Majors, major headaches. Mike Chmielewski who could barely contain his cheer during an after game interview on the radio (Newstalk 570) scored two goals including a very pretty goal created by fellow rookie: Paul McFarland to make the score 6-2 late in the second period, proabably sealing the fate of the Majors on this night. Chmielewski's first OHL goal wasn't quite as theatric as the second, in a run of three consecutive Rangers goals Chmielewski simply stepped over the blueline and used veteran defender: Steve Rawski as a screen lifting a wrister over Chiodo's shoulder. Majors head coach: Dave Cameron was not shy about lifting his veteran netminder having already seen the Rangers virutally score at will on him in Toronto.
Chmielewski hasn't been the only 'kid' giving the Majors problems this year. After the Majors got back in the game late in the third period, another 16 year old: goalie Carlo DiRienzo shut the door on the Majors through the final 3 minutes and 17 seconds of regulation time. DiRienzo posted his second consecutive shutout in Toronto in a 7-0 Rangers victory, a game which could have been radically different without Carlo's heorics in the early going, the Majors could have easily had a 2-0 lead. Two other Rangers' underagers: Evan McGrath and Cam Fergus (who like Chmielewski is a bantam call-up for the Rangers) had an assist each against the Majors this season. With the Rangers on their heels, with the Majors having scored two goals within 6 minutes with the third period coming to a close and the Rangers having used their only timeout on defensive strategy for a Majors two-man advantage, which they scored the first of the two goals on; DeBoer elected to shake his team up with a new netminder. Aside from the two goals in the third that Dickie allowed, he also left the net with an interference penalty to kill, the penalty was somewhat of a marvel of science since it came during the same stopage in play as the goal was scored. A very cold, DiRienzo stood his ground and was actually forced to make some pretty big saves as the game's fourth and best netminder.
The two veteran filled teams played the first
seven minutes of hockey in the first period scoreless, veteran coaches:
Dave Cameron (Toronto) and Peter DeBoer (Kitchener) played the game as
tactfully as a chess match, before the two teams exploded for 5 goals in
three and half minutes. Darryl Boyce opened the scoring, but the
Rangers replied very swiftly with three of their own within a timespan
of 2:03, the third of those goals was scored by Chmielewski and ended up
chasing: Andy Chiodo from the game. Clarkson's powerplay marker opened
the scoring for the Rangers, his goal was followed up by Matt Grennier.
Tim Brent would fool Scott Dickie with a shot quickly bringing the Majors
back to within striking distance. In the end it was the Majors lack
of team speed that was their undoing. At the midway point of the
second period, Matt Grennier and Nathan McIver departed for the penalty
box with roughing minors, the open ice caused by the penalties would be
too much for the Majors to counteract. First, Kanko was nearly sent
in all alone on a breakaway and then soon after with the Rangers moving
the puck effectively in the zone Smith backhanded a pass to Peter Kanko
which made little mistake on one-timing. Only a minute later on a
three-on-one for the Rangers Nathan O'Nabigon elected to keep the puck,
unleashing a wicked wrister past netminder Justin Peters whom had replaced
Chiodo in the first period.
The third period very quickly became ugly with a clearly frustrated and embarassed Toronto Majors team down 6-2. Official Ryan O'Neill called 40 penalties in the third which on two occasions nearly got out of control. In fact the Rangers' first and second stars: Marcus Smith and Michael Richards, walked out on the ice to acknowledge their fans, half-dressed in street clothes, both had been involved in the same altercation. Majors coach: Dave Cameron even attempted to get involved in the chaos only being stopped in the hallway between the two benches by officers in the third period, with the game quickly getting out of hand. The empty net goal was simply a lottery for Rangers forwards looking to cap off their night's with two goals. Nathan O'Nabigon narrowly missed his third empty nettter of the season and David Clarkson finished the game the same way he started it by scoring his second of the night.
Toronto Majors: Shane O'Brien (a pickup from
the Kingston Frontenacs for Drew Fata) was a -3 on the night aside from
being frustrated with his game he was also livid with David Clarkson who
took a few swings at him after officials had stepped in after their bout
in the third period. Mike Chielewski has 2 games remaining in his
bantam callup, and expects to play against the Guelph Storm, Cam Fergus
who recorded his first OHL point on this night was finishing the last of
his five games. Marcus Smith who quietly but very effectively goes
about his work has two assists, and first star. Peter Kanko reluctantly
fought Darryl Boyce and in the opinions of the 5700 plus in attendance
was a clear winner. One huge concern on the part of head coach Peter
DeBoer is the Rangers goals against they have allowed 20 goals against
in their past five games combined. The Rangers have lost the team
goals against lead to the Plymouth Whalers, a huge Rangers' win on Tuesday
night over the Whalers could go a long why to rectify that situation as
well as solidify the Rangers status as the top team in the Western Conference.
The Rangers are now 7-3 since they have lost Campbell and Roy to the World
Junior team. In Roy's absense, Michael Richards (51 points) is now
the team's scoring leader.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.