|Andrew Penner keeps game respectable
The scouting report that the Rangers have been using all season long informs the team to get to Andrew Penner early or risk not beating him at all or at least not enough to win. The red hot Rangers powerplay got to work very quickly, and scored on two of their first 3 opportunities in the first period. On the overall this weekend the Rangers went 7 for 19 (36.8%). Steve Eminger factored in on both of the first two Rangers goals, 2 points on the night, par on the course for Eminger who now has 12 points (1-11) in the six games since his return to the OHL. His superb two-way performance made him an easy choice for top star. With the Rangers incredibly balanced scoring attack on this night it was hard to highlight any one offensive effort; 10 players combined for 11 points. Gregory Campbell whom was named first star just 24 hours earlier in London sat beside Eminger on the star podium.
The Rangers showed something that they didn't at home on Friday night - killer instinct. Once the Matt Ryan got the Storm on the board in the early second period, the Rangers simply quenched the fury of the Storm and turned them into little more than an arctic breeze on this night. Peter Kanko capitalized his chance and quickly stole the momentum from the Storm who lost all three games on the weekend, fell to 8th in the conference, a single point ahead of 9th place Owen Sound. The Rangers meanwhile continued to roll, 3 wins in three nights, two of which were on the road, the wins helped the Rangers solidify their slippery grip on top spot overall in the league, and vaulted them to a #2 ranking in all of Canada.
After allowing the flukey goal to Kanko from the side of the net Andrew Penner looked spectacular, turning aside 25 of 26 shots faced after what could have been called a fairly even first period, except on the scoreboard where the Rangers led 3-0. Penner who was easily the hardest working Storm player, took home third star honors, after thwarting many Ranger's opportunities to really break the game open and humiliate the Storm. The Rangers literally spent stints of several minutes in the Storm zone wearing down the Storm while they rotated 4 lines. Peter Kanko was reunited with his All-Star buddies: Derek Roy, and Gregory Campbell, Rafal Martynowski who has struggled in finding the net scored the opening goal drilling the puck past Penner on a give-and-go. Martynowski joined both Richards and O'Nabigon.
Jesse Boucher and Evan McGrath even looked as if they were beginning to click, Boucher's late period goal sent the Storm to the dressing room, and their fans to the consesssions reeling. The Rangers finished 4-1, and for the Storm it could have been much worse as the Rangers dominated the final 30 minutes even more than the first thirty, though they did fail to score. Radio play by play man: Don Cameron described the in one word perfectly: tidy. The Rangers didn't really suffer from any defensive breakdowns, and simply outplayed and outworked the Storm. Lost in the team effort has been the individual effort of top netminder: Scott Dickie who has made some very big and very timely saves over the past two weeks.
David Clarkson sat out his second game of a two-game suspension.
The win closed the season series, the Rangers have now won 3 of 4 season
series' against the Storm, they led this season series 4-0-2 over the Storm,
the Rangers have only enjoyed more success this season against the Otters
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.