|Highest offensive output in
years for the Rangers!
The Rangers in their first four meetings of the season against the Otters had revenge on their minds. Veterans like Roy, Smith, Benoit, Dickie, and Eason needed to attone for some of the headaches that the Otters have caused the Rangers in the past two seasons, running up a 13-3 record against the boys in blue. The long time Rangers may have had their fill, the Otters had Coliaicovo back from the Leafs, along with a couple of new faces in tough guy: Bryan Hamm, and forwards Rob Hisey and Mike Melinko. This game was supposed to be very competitive, things were supposed to be different. Derek Roy, Gregory Campbell, and Peter Kanko's line had to be shutdown; that was part A of a 60 minute gameplan. The Otters were successful putting the brakes on the Rangers' top unit, they held them off of the scoresheet, and didn't give them any good scoring chances until Gregory Campbell intercepted a Marion pass depositing it into an empty net. The Otters even kept the potent Rangers' powerplay off of the scoresheet for the first time in 4 games. Problem is someone forgot to inform the Otters about the Rangers' incredible forward depth the second, and third lines combined for 9 goals. Rookie: Paul McFarland rounded out the Rangers' scoring on the 4th line, while playing center for the first time this season between: McCaffery and Keefe.
The 11 goals gave the Rangers team one of the highest goal outputs in team history, the 9 goal victory failed to match last season's best margin of victory a 10-0 win over the Brampton Battalion who were both shortstaffed and rebuilding at the time. It is notable that Carlo Coliaicovo did leave the game, leaving the Otters with only 4 defenders all of which were OHL veterans in: Campoli, Eade, Lee and Hamm, unfortunately for the Otters they were down 4-0 when Carlo left and that 4th goal also chased starter: T.J. Aceti from the net. The Otters have not had lady luck on their sides while facing the Rangers this season. Starting netminding has only twice carried the Otters through the game and they have been outscored by a 39-13 margin on the season, a far cry from what occured last season when the Rangers and Otters were neck-and-neck in goals scored and allowed during their 8 game set, despite a 6-2-0 Otter advantage which included an overtime victory in Kitchener.
The damage on this night was done by the up and coming Rangers. Michael Richards, Jesse Boucher, and David Clarkson had two goals a piece. McCaffery had 4 points (1-3) for a career-high and was named first star of the game. Michael Richards (2-1) and Evan McGrath (1-2) had 3 points a piece, and were named the game's second and third stars respectively, NCAA pickup Jesse Boucher, along with former Bull: David Clarkson also chipped in with 3 points a piece (2-1), they just fell victim to the numbers game on the star podium. Richards' 3 point performance extended his lead in the team's point race to 6 over Derek Roy who has already led the Rangers in points in each of the three seasons' leading up to this one.
Lost in the mammoth Rangers' victory is the team's backup netminder: Carlo DiRienzo who had been pulled in his previous 2 starts in both Brampton and London. DiRienzo made the stops early when there was still meaning to the game, and this enabled the Rangers to jump out of a 4-0 lead after one. The only goals that DiRienzo did allow were midway through the second, on a 4-on-4 with Rangers up 6-0. Campoli wired a shot wide which rebounded off the boards behind the net directly out to Hisey who stuffed the puck into the empty net and seconds later Mike Rice beat DiRienzo with a one-timer. With the two goal outburst it was obvious that the Otters wished to come up for air. With memories of the their nearly blown 5-0 lead over the Colts the previous Friday night still etched in the minds of many of the Rangers, the team started pouring it on the Otters. Clarkson after the game was done admitted to feeling somewhat remorseful for the drubbing, he scored with only 10 seconds remaining in regulation time.
Despite the blowout, the game didn't get out
of control in the least. During the first period there were only
two officials as the second linesman was stuck fixing a flat, which occured
on the way to Kitchener. Keefe who lost his entire jersey and shoulder
pads in a fight against Erie's: Evan Lagace in the games only fight, also
picked up a season-high two points. T.J. Eason even got in on the
run with two assists of his own.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.