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Break out the brooms, Rangers sweep 'Hounds


Gregory Campbell scores in all four games

Derek Roy paced the Rangers with 8 points (1-7) in the first
four matchups of the postseason.

Rangers put the hounds on short leash, rather than letting them extend the series, before closing things out infront of what would no doubt be a loud capacity crowd, the Rangers downed the Greyhounds for good.  The sweep obviously has many advantages, the first of which would be healing the wounded, such as defenseman: Steve Eminger, who for the fourth straight game only saw time on the powerplay.  After game 3, game 4 stretched out with hope for both sets of fans, however not many Soo fans turned up again with a slight crowd increase on the previous night to 1990. The Soo started the same line up as on Tuesday, the Rangers replaced Martynowski with Manias, who spent the entire night on the bench.

After a good refereeing performance on Tuesday, Parlette had a lot to live up to.  He started as he meant to go on by calling a roughing penalty for Ranger's Campbell.  The Rangers however started as they meant to go on and managed to out shoot the Soo on the penalty, including Munro stoning Kanko on a break away. Soo also created an early chance shorthanded when Eminger coughed up the puck, but Larch couldn't capitalize.  The Rangers continued to push and an in the 9th minute Richards hit the frame of the goal. Back came the Soo and at 9:36 Taticek broke through the middle and roofed a shot over Dickie to again give the Soo a 1-0 lead.  The Rangers continued to press and created two chances while Jordan Kennedy was sitting out and interference call.  First a cross ice pass from Roy finds Benoit who tries to drill it through the Greyhound on Munro's chest. Then Richards send a cross ice pass to Halkidis, but Munro makes a good pad save. Dobben then takes a slashing penalty giving the Rangers an 11 second 5 on 3. Just as the 1 penalty expires McGrath circles out of the corner on the right and first a shot through a crown of players to bring the Rangers even.  The Rangers continued to press and at 16:41 Richards brings the puck out of the left corner and sets up O'Nabigon in front who puts the puck past Munro to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.  The Rangers heavily outshot the Soo in the period 20 to 8, but the period and infact game was dominated by the constant whistle of Parlette, who could have done well to watch Beer the previous night on how to call 
a good play off game.

The Soo started fast in the second and Dickie had to make a number of saves.  However at the 4:26 marck Smith lets a shot go from the point, Munro gives up a rebound which Campbell buries putting the Rangers 3-1 ahead, for Campbell it was the fourth straight game where he scored.  Then at 9:44 with the Rangers Boucher sitting out a 2 minute holding penalty the Soo overload the Rangers defense down low and the puck finds its way to LeClair alone in the slot who puts the puck past Dickie, for the Greyhounds it is their first powerplay goal of the series in 16 opportunities.  Both teams trade chances on a number of power plays. This seems to be the only whay Eminger gets to see the ice. Towards the end of the period and for the rest of the game the Rangers cut back to just 3 lines sitting McFarland and Boucher.  Shots in the period were Rangers 12 and the Soo 11.

In the third Manias had some defensive help on the bench as Harrison sat out most of the period except for the final minute.  The Rangers tried to create some chances in the period, but it was obvious their prime concern was not giving up the lead. They played a very solid defensive game in the period.  With about 6 minutes to go they only sent the center into forecheck and let the wingers hang back and clogg up the neutral zone.  With 2 minutes to go Jeff Carter, the Soo's regular season scoring champion, and on of the strongest players over the 2 games in the Soo, made good end to end rush but couldn't find a way to stuff the puck past Scott Dickie who finished the series with only 3 goals against in total. With just over a minute to go the Soo pull Munro however Smith put the puck into the empty net to give the Rangers the game 4-2 and the series 4-0.  For Smith it was his second goal of the postseason, matching his regular season totals.

The Soo fans game their team a standing ovation at the end.  They tried hard, but couldn't overcome the solid Rangers. At the hand shake at the end, every Ranger seemed to have a special word for Amodeo. I hope he finds his way to the Aud during the play offs, there will be a long line of Kitchener fans wanting to wish him well.

Special thanks to:  Hair Bear for the stellar game report live from up in the Soo.