|Balanced attack leads the Rangers
over the Knights
The London Knights are probably more or less regretting waking the sleeping giant, the Kitchener Rangers early in the season when they snapped a rather long Rangers winning streak before a sold out John Labatt Centre crowd, since then the Rangers have gone on to win 4 straight against the boys from the forest city. Speaking of forests, the Rangers have seen enough of the Knights' forest green third jersey to have nausia looking at it. This game, the Rangers for the first time this season sported their third jerseys against the very new black London look. Two very long time OHL franchises wearing jerseys that an OHL of 5 years back may not at all be able to recognize.
Aside from the Rangers 3-2 loss in London which saw the team dominate the on the shot clock 34-13 and netminder Chris Houle stand on his head, quality starts or perhaps breaks in those starts have not been going for the Knights. In the two Knights visits to Kitchener they have been outscored 5-0 and in this matchup 5-3, in London the Rangers managed to squeeze out a 6-4 victory with an empty and comeback from a 2-0 deficit. The Rangers who played poorly the night before against the Sarnia Sting came out in the first period looking to make a statement and did. The Rangers' got started early with a blistering slapshot by Richards into the top corner past Houle, who arguably was literally at the mercy of Richards who scored his team leading 30th of the season from the high slot area. The deadly Rangers powerplay went to work and as they did the night before put a quick deuce up on the board and took the drivers' seat. First Benoit who leads all OHL defensemen in goals beat Houle for his 17th of the season and Clarkson banked the puck off of a London defender and into the net after stickhandling in close for what seemed like an eternity. The Rangers' second consecutive goal on the man-advantage quickly chased starter: Chris Houle to the delight of the 6,100 plus in attendance.
Late in the second period Scott Dickie ended up getting tangled in one of his own players and despite a couple of theatric moves the veteran netminder was finally beaten by speedy Ryan Hare of the Knights. Dickie's adventures didn't stop there, in the second Corey Perry had the netminder at his mercy for an entire 10 seconds straight before beating him, the hearts of Rangers' fans really began to get concerned when a Zach Tranmer wrister handcuffed Dickie late in the second period finding it's way into the top corner, on the short side just over the Rangers' starter's glove.
The Rangers pretty much sufficated the London powerplay, and for the second straight game, speedster Adam Keefe joined the penalty killing corps, he also scored what turned out to be a critical insurance goal giving the Rangers a healthy 5-1 lead before the gap was closed to 5-3 late in the middle frame. The extent of the injury sustained by Chad McCaffery in the second period is currently unknow, it was caused by a collesion with Chris Bain going over the offensive blueline. Thomas Harrison for the second straight night answered the bell for the Rangers and roughed up Bain pretty good prior to leaving for the penalty box.
The Rangers only dressed 5 defenders including: Harrison, in the
place of Duff (who played in the Friday night game) rescent signee: Kevin
Hurley (formerly of the North Bay Centennials) played in his first game
as a Ranger and did not look at all out of place, he was the Rangers 13th
forward on this afternoon Gregory Campell who scored and was named 1st
star, played with rookie: Evan McGrath and David Clarkson who also scored.
Campbell had two points in the game, including his goal which turned out
to be the game winner. Once the dust had cleared at the end of the
night the Plymouth Whalers kept pace with the Rangers winning in Owen Sound,
while the 67's only took half the pie for the second consecutive night,
losing in overtime in Belleville.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.