|Kanko factors in on all 4 second
After Wednesday night's disappointment nothing short of a 180 degree turnaround would be acceptable for the red, white and blue and approximately 175 of their most loyal fans who made the lengthy good Friday trip to Plymouth. The Rangers did exactly that, but not before some early game jitters which almost led to a Plymouth goal moments into the game. They bounced a puck off of the post, through Dickie's legs and then failed to score once the puck was back out at the top of the crease. Once the Rangers got going and the nerves calmed they both made and took advantage of their breaks. The Rangers started to take over on the shot clock during the second half of the first period and unlike they played at home started to really penetrate the offensive zone though they did have some momumental struggles on the powerplay in the first period.
Scott Dickie who earned first star in the Rangers' 3-1 loss on Wednesday night, while allowing only 2 goals was again on the three star list and arguably was the difference even with the lopsided 6-1 score. Dickie, perhaps was the receipient of some good fortune when the Whalers struck the post early, but was able to scramble enough to keep the puck from the entering the net. From that point onward Dickie made all of his own breaks with great positioning and a fast glove hand. Should Dickie have allowed a goal on any number of the excellent Whaler scoring opportunities by Whaler snipers early in the game, the results may have been radically different. Dickie wasn't scored on until the Rangers had gone out to a commanding 4-0 lead, and Whalers were on a powerplay with less than three minutes on the clock in the second period. LaRose, the Whalers' top sniper during the regular schedule, Dickie was able to best LaRose on other occasions earlier in the game.
The 3,667 in attendance, which accounted for all seats in the house were loud and spirited until the early second when the Ranger gained the lead and hardly looked back. Peter Kanko broke in all alone, and much like he did to Penner in the final game against the Storm deked Drew, but was thwarted by the very same post that had bailed out Dickie earlier in the game. However, unlike the Whalers the Rangers were able to pound the rebound into the net. The goal was O'Nabigon's 6th of the postseason. The floodgates really opened at the midway point of the second period when Kanko found a gaaping five-hole to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Richards scored as the Rangers finally broke through on the powerplay, seconds later Peter Kanko picked up a terrible rebound and lunged towards the puck wrapping into the half vacated net before Drew could get back into position.
Soon after Plymouth's 4-1 goal, it could argued that the Rangers deserved a penalty shot. With Dickie on the bench during a delayed netminder interference penalty the Rangers stormed up ice, two-on-two, they dumped the puck to the point where Richards was flying in unharassed and suddenly the Whalers net magically popped off. The Rangers were only granted the one powerplay which extended into the third period. While they were unable to convert on the man advantage, Derek Roy did score while the PA address announcer was still in the process of notifying the teams that Plymouth was at full strength. Earlier in the second period Adam Keefe and Steve Phillips were assessed double-minors for spearing, the two were back at it in the third period of what has already become a very dirty and ugly series. Steve Phillips and Adam Keefe back at it in the third period and Steve Phillips took an ugly match penalty for spearing giving the Rangers a 5 minute powerplay. A Steve Eminger floater found the top corner on the powerplay and for the 2nd time in 4 games, Paul Drew was yanked in favour of former Greyhound: Jeff Weber. The Rangers ended the game 2 for 7 on the powerplay, and only allowed Plymouth to convert on 1 of 5 opporunities.
Kanko the games' number one star had 2 goals and 2 assists.
David Clarkson had a spirited second period bout with Whaler's overage
defender: Cole Jarrett. The goal by Eminger was his first of the
postseason. After starting the playoffs with 10 points (9-1) in the
first 8 games. Former Whaler sniper: Gregory Campbell has been held
pointless in his last two games, including the first two in the third round.
The Rangers second unit after starting the postseason against the Greyhound
rather slowly have continued where they left off in the second round, they
were also responsible for the final 4 goals in the clinching game against
the Guelph Storm. The Rangers are now tied in the Western Conference
final 1-1, and remain undefeated on the road (5-0), they are 4-2 on home
ice. Game 3 at the Memorial Auditorium at 7:00 on Sunday night will
be shown live on Rogers Sportsnet.
Special thanks to: Duct
Tape for the excellent game night photography.