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Rangers will have to meet 67's in finals to avenge loss

Ottawa dominates third period in highly anticipated contest

Dickie prepares for a rebound after deflecting the
puck up the middle in the Rangers 5-2 loss.

During the entire 2002-2003 regular season there may not be a loss that stings quite as much for the Rangers as this 5-2 defeat in the Nation's capital.  Playing inside the friendly and not to mention warm confinds of the Civic Auditorium in Ottawa, the 67's let their fans know that they were officially back after a horrendous January saw the club go 2-6-3 over a stretch of 11 games, plummeting in the CHL rankings to #8.  Since that stretch the 67's have won 4 straight over some very high-quality teams.  The victory over the Rangers brought the 67's back to within 2 points of top spot in the OHL, currently occupied by our Kitchener Rangers.

The story on this afternoon best summed up by the OHL's leading scorer: Corey Locke who is actively adding to a 52-goal season and native son to Ottawa, Kitchener's Derek Roy.  Roy, who was named the game's top star in Kingston would not be making another trip to the 3-star podium on this afternoon as he and his linemates were completely shutout by a combination of a strong 67's backcheck along with some hot netminding supplied by rookie Lukas Mensator (named the game's third star).  Locke on the other hand took the starch out of the Rangers with a breakaway deke on Dickie giving the 67's a two-goal cushion prior to filling the empty net which with Steve Eminger playing the role of netminder adding to his already league leading goal scoring total of 52.  Scott Dickie who was nothing short of spectacular in goal for the Rangers' in the team's first meeting in Kitchener, a 3-2 come from behind Rangers victory got off to another tremendous start for the Rangers in this battle allowing the Rangers to eek through the first period with a 1-0 lead.  Dickie faultered in the end allowing 3 unanswered goals.

A prime example of some of the Winterlude fun.  This
ice sculpture was just one of many.

The second period would begin with some controversy, Matt Aliani would knot the score at one a piece and soon after the 67's appeared to have the lead after a Brendan Bell shot ricocheted off of the crossbar.  Official Webb originally called it a goal thinking that it had hit the back crossbar before conversing with the linesmen and the goal judge, as it turned out the reversal of the call was not the correct action according to the video replay.  Fortunately the reversal of the call did not affect the final outcome of the game, and probably served to make the game more exciting for Ottawa fans.  Michael Richards would restore the Rangers' lead only minutes after the phantom Ottawa goal.  Russ Moyer would tie the game up for the 67's with a point blast which found it's way through Dickie and into the back of the net.  Midway through the third period Jeremy Akeson (the game's first star) would beat Dickie after an Ottawa bounce off of the boards giving the 67's the lead for the first time in the game.

Scott Dickie's personal high 10-game winning streak came to a halt, and the Rangers powerplay was completely shutdown in each of its 6 opportunities, including a late chance where the 67's completely sufficated the Rangers on the man-advantage.  The Rangers finished the season 8-2-0 against the OHL's strongest division, the East.  Former Ranger: Scott Sheppard who plays on the top line with Corey Locke was held pointless for the 67's.  Both Michael Richards (1-1) and Nathan O'Nabigon (0-2) had two points a piece for the Rangers.