|Evan McGrath may have had best
Like thieves in the night the Rangers hopped on their Great Canadian bus and departed from Owen Sound. Not that the Rangers did anything to steal the game, but they probably robbed themselves of a strong start to a difficult 4 games in 5 days stretch. A 5-day stretch which could result in the team advancing to first overall in the Canadian rankings should the Rangers manage to compile a 4-0-0 record during this stretch of games. The Rangers had a rough start, getting outskated, and outshot in the first period. Fortunately due to the solid play of their veteran netminder: Scott Dickie, they managed to escape down only 1-0. The Attack sent an offensive onslaught of shots at Dickie before scoring on a second rebound past a prone Scott Dickie who might have made the save later on in the game. At the other end John Ceci didn't appear to have one weakness in his armour, nor did the Rangers really test him early on. The Rangers fourth line consisting of: Grennier, Keefe and McCaffery was probably the Rangers' strongest unit during the opening period where the Rangers really failed to maintain puck posession in the zone throughout the period in the second of two straight tight-checking games in Owen Sound.
The Rangers' powerplay got to on board in the second, as did the Rangers' skating legs in the second period. While the Rangers failed to connect on the man advantage for the second time in two games, they did terrorize the Attack and their netminder: John Ceci who had a tremendous effort in the second period highlighted by a driving stop. The Rangers were bound to score sooner than later, they have not been shutout in a game since the dissapointing season opener against the Windsor Spitfires. Eventually with some swift passing and with Pat Sutton out of the box but not yet into the play, Gregory Campbell found Evan McGrath alone infront of the Attack net, and 32:35 after the opening puck had been dropped the shutout bid ended. Adam Keefe had an interesting 'bout with former Storm defender: Geoff Patton to end the period.
The Rangers third line which has been red hot of late, and recently
reformed to add Rafal Martynowski. Rafal Martynowski scored his 14th
goal of the season and was feed from his center: McGrath. The Rangers
were up 2-1 much like they were during their last visit, they appeared
dominant to begin the third. However, once they got down to protecting
their precious goal lead the Rangers got sloppy, leading to numerous Owen
Sound rushes the worst of which involved Steve Eminger getting stripped
by: John Weaton but then getting stoned by netminder Dickie. Unfortunately
Dickie could not get 100% of a point shot from captain and former OHL first
overall pick Patrick Jarrett which tied the game much to the delight of
the very loud Owen Sound crowd, on a rare Wednesday night, inwhich the
fans could redeem unused tickets for free admission. The frustrated
Rangers seemed to enter overtime with a mission on their minds, a win and
only a win would be satisfactory. The Rangers whom have been dominant
4-on-4 this season as well as enjoying a 3-1-4 record in overtime going
into the game turned the tables on the Attack whom hadn't lost on home
ice in the new year except to the Rangers (twice after this win).
The team cycled inside the zone, and the puck found its way to several
Rangers many of whom had excellent chances, finally Andre Benoit beat netminder:
Ceci and the Rangers paraded on to the ice in celebration. Perhaps
it wasn't the best start to a busy weekend, but if the Rangers can draw
off of the momentum they'll enjoy a very productive weekend. The
Rangers hold the advantage in the season series 3-2-0 but the Attack based
on overtime loss points, have 6 points equal to the Rangers' totals.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.