For the second straight weekend, the Rangers faced one of their Midwestern division foes in a home-at-home two game mini series. The Attack and notably netminder Robert Gherson proved to be a little too much for the Rangers, and predominantly newly acquired ace between the pipes: Robert Gherson. Robert Gherson was first star on Friday night and once the scene of the mini-series shifted to Owen Sound little changed despite an improved effort by the Rangers, resulting in a 3-3 tie.
Andre Benoit got the Rangers on the board early with his 7th goal of the season, while the Rangers were up two men, very early in the first period. The goal came only 10 seconds into the two man-advantage with Mark Giordano off for slashing. Attack fans were not happy, and the booing continued after Tom Zanoski was assessed a Charging minor only seconds after Giordano's penalty had expired. The Attack got to work on powerplays of their own during later on in the period. Jonathan Lehun beat DiRienzo, and Marcus Smith inadvertantly deflected another powerplay goal past DiRienzo later in the period, which was credited to rookie Bobby Ryan. Ryan's goal was already his 5th of the season, and second in two games against the Rangers.
As they did during the first period, the Rangers got started very quickly during the second period. Nick Duff took an excellent Jesse Boucher feed and left Robert Gherson sliding into open ice while Adam Keefe was also open, and just slid the puck into the empty net. This goal took place at the 1:33 mark of the second period. Adam Smyth, who was recently acquired from the Attack would put his hometown team back in the lead after a Carlo DiRienzo miscue later in the period. DiRienzo left the net to play the puck, he fired it into the corner where: Jonathan Lehun picked it up and quickly fired it across the crease to a waiting Adam Smyth, an Owen Sound resident waiting at the side of the crease, Smyth made little mistake in burying the one-timer. It was Smyth's first goal in only his the second game of his season, his first in Owen Sound.
The Rangers would again invade the crease of
Robert Gherson, Michael Richards as well as Petr Kanko both made contact
with Owen Sound netminder, and on one of the occasions Richards was given
a penalty for roughing, and on the other occasion Jiri Paska of the Attack
was given a roughing penalty. Both incidents drew crowds around the
Owen Sound net, aside from delays to the game neither resulted in some
of the after whistle violence that took place in Kitchener.
The Rangers came out during the third period, very interested in avoiding a third straight loss. They came out firing shots from all angles, David Clarkson had an excellent opportunity, where he was able to pick up his own rebound but failed to score on Gherson, who brought his 'A game' on two consecutive nights. The Rangers finally did break through when Rafal Martynowski scored only his second of his season, on a second rebound with Gherson down and out on the ice. The Rangers had several other brilliant chances in the third where they outshot the Attack 17-3. Despite the lobsided shots on goal, Carlo DiRienzo had to save the day for the Rangers late in the game, when an Attack forward took the puck behind the net wrapped it around, and directly into the glove of DiRienzo who dissappointed many of the 3177 in attendance in Owen Sound. The crowd of 3177 was the largest ever for a Rangers game in Owen Sound.
Several times during the dying minutes of the
game, the Rangers felt that they had scored the winning goal and raised
their arms in triumph only to realize that Robert Gherson had trapped yet
another brilliant Ranger scoring opportunity. Carlo DiRienzo also
bounced back after a very tough outing against the Guelph Storm on home
ice and should be given full credit for his part in helping the Rangers
earn a point in Owen Sound.
Robert Gherson was first star for the second
consecutive game. The game's second star, Rangers' defender: Andre
Benoit scored on the powerplay and made a game-saving defensive play on
a Owen Sound 3 on 1 late in the game. The tie kept the Attack in
first place in the OHL, they have 9 points in their last 5 games.
Patrick Davis left the game early because of the after-effects of a hit
near the Rangers' bench. Rookie forwards: Anthony Potoschnik and
Peter Franchin both for the second straight night had very strong efforts
that have yet to result in offensive production.