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Richards' line back on winning track

Michael Richards, seen in action against the Storm, had a first star, 3 point
performance in Sault Ste. Marie, including 2 goals.

After arriving on the scene and immediately accounting for 3 goals in each of their first 2 games after Kanko and Richards were returned to the Rangers, the trio went scoreless in two straight games.  They were back on the winning track, accounting for all but one goal, the winner, scored by Paul McFarland in a 4-2 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  1st star, Richards paced the Rangers with three points including a pair of goals.

After scoring on the man advantage in each of the first three regular season games, the Rangers powerplay powered down in the previous two games, on the weekend going a combined 0 for 9 in the process.  Petr Kanko connected late in the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead while the Rangers were on the man advantage.  On the afternoon the Rangers powerplay would score on just that one opportunity in the 7 that they had during the game.

Jeff Carter scored on the powerplay to bring the Greyhounds even with the Rangers.  Chris Lawrence then gave the 'Hounds a 2-1 lead at the midway point of the second period.  Kevin Druce again was puzzling the Rangers who directed 44 shots on goal during the course of the game, that nearly mirrored their efforts in Kitchener, the previous Friday night.

The Rangers got busy early in the third period.  Michael Richards brought the Rangers even early in the third period.  Less than one minute later Paul McFarland gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead.  The Rangers hard working 3rd line had just produced it's third goal in three games, and this one was the most important of these three along with being Paul McFarland's first goal in his 6th game of the season.

The Rangers fired 21 shots on goal during their third period comeback, the last of which was into an empty net.  Michael Richards' empty net goal with only 14 seconds on the clock clinched the game for the Rangers, along with giving the gifted Rangers' center first star honors with his third point of the game.

Carlo DiRienzo had another solid game for the Rangers, though he didn't get a recognized as he did in the previous two games in the three star selections.  He allowed 2 goals, and a total of 5 goals in 3 weekend matchups.  His record improved to 4-1-0, he also recorded his first point, an assist on the winner by McFarland.  In all Carlo faced only 20 shots, a total that the Rangers' road offense more than doubled with their 44.

The Rangers elected to dress 7 defenders for the first time this season as Chris Gravelding saw ice for the first time this season, after an injury kept him out through the exhibition schedule.  Gravelding replaced Mike Chmielewski who was in the Rangers lineup the previous night in Saginaw for his first game.  Jeff Carter and Petr Kanko were the second and third stars of the game respectively.

Photo Credit: CatMagic