|Official infuriates Rangers
fans, and players
In an already disasterous night for the Rangers things took a wild turn for the worse in the second period. The Rangers were already down 3-0 and the crowd of 6,050 was getting restless. The Rangers were having all of the breaks go against them, rookie Carlo DiRienzo was struggling between the pipes and the Frontenacs found their way to the man advantage all too often by diving in the first period. Just after a clipping call to Rangers' winger: Adam Keefe, a fan behind the bench shouted at the official, the play was immediately blown with the Rangers on their way into the Frontenac zone and the Rangers immediately were assessed a bench minor for comments which were incorrectly attributed to head coach: Peter DeBoer. Discussion ensued following the call but the end result was Jesse Boucher heading to the penalty box and the Rangers down two skaters for well over a minute. The crowd got nasty after Derek Roy was hauled down and Miguel Delisle scored immediately afterwards. Chants of 'we want a ref' boomed throughout of the Auditorium as the impatient Rangers fans vocally voiced their displeasure with the officiating. It may have been the loudest that the Auditorium has been in years, something that Kitchener Rangers usually reserve for the postseason.
Things didn't start out looking so misably for the Rangers. The Rangers were all over the Frontenacs in the first period, they put 20 shots on Hamerlik who was extremely sharp for the Frontenacs, it appeared as if it was only a matter of time before the Rangers, who have been dominant of late would bulge the twine and then break the game open against the lowly Frontenacs who are currently battling with the Mississauga Ice Dogs for the final playoff spot in the OHL's Eastern conference. Things started to go wrong in with under a minute left in the first period, when Brandon McBride beat DiRienzo with a wrist shot blocker side. Things didn't stop going wrong until Cory Stillman fired the puck the length of the ice into a net which coach DeBoer ordered to be vacated midway through the third period in an invain attempt to get the Rangers back into the game. Derek Roy was only able to prevent Hamerlik from getting his 4th shutout of his season on the powerplay in the third period beating him top corner on what was almost the first Rangers powerplay in two periods.
In addition to being frustrating with the team's play, the Rangers faithful also appeared to be concerned about the netminding of Carlo DiRienzo who started because of a blocker hand injury to Dickie during practice. The 16 year old rookie has seen his Goals Against average jump from league leading lows to 3.03, and confidence plument to an all-time low. DiRienzo will represent Ontario in the under-17 tournament, something Rangers fans are hoping will give him a new start once he returns to the Rangers. On the opposite side of the ice Hamerlik was simply amazing, technic and reactions, enabled him to sufficate the Rangers offense until the Kingston offense could kick it into high gear. Hamerlik like Dickie is one of a record 10 overaged netminders in the OHL this season.
Cory Stillman led the Frontenacs scorers with 2 goals, one of which was into the Rangers empty net. Danny McDonald and Miguel Delisle (formerly of the Owen Sound Attack) had two points a piece in what was a very strong road effort by the Frontenacs. The much anticipated battle of the league's top two defenseman scores: Andre Benoit and Bryan Rodney proved pointless as Benoit assisted on the Rangers only goal, but Bryan Rodney's Frontenacs embarassed the Rangers 5-1 when the dust had settled.
Chad McCaffery missed the game with a knee
legiment injury and is expected to miss a considerable amount of time (4-6
weeks), Paul McFarland who was part of a second fight after a whistle in
Oshawa was serving the first game of a two-game suspension, and David Clarkson
who was seeing time on the Rangers top line was away attending to a personal
issue. The Rangers for the first tiem this season lost to a team
from the Eastern Conference for the first time, going into the game 7-0-0.
The return matchup, the only other game that the two teams will play against
each other will take place a week later in Kingston on Friday night.
Due to the under-17 tourney, the Rangers will have if nothing else a different
look in net with the veteran: Scott Dickie starting, one would hope that
the remainder of the team will look different as well aside from wearing
blue jerseys. After the game captain: Derek Roy appologized to the
fans for the lackluster effort.
Exceptional game night photography
done by: Duct Tape.