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Late game frustrations prolong Rangers slump

Michael Richards just guides a shot wide of the net early in the second period  Daren
Machesney won his second career start.

The Rangers needed a break to get out of their funk, unfortunately the break may have gone in the direction of the Battalion.  Late goals entered the nets in all three periods.  Unfortunately, the one by the Battalion with 4 seconds remaining in the first period while on a two man advantage was the only one to count.  Kanko wandered through the defense but put the puck into the net well after the buzzer in the second period.  After a faceoff in the Battalion zone with only 4 seconds remaining in regulation, Machesney was beaten again.  This time, the play happened within half of a second of the buzzer, and eventually would result in a non-goal call, after the official confered with both the goal judge as well as the time keeper.  The non-goal was not the only issue that the Rangers and many of their fans in attendance had issue with on this afternoon.  Peter DeBoer was very verbal in disagreeing with how the game as a whole was called.

Adam Henrich beat Carlo DiRienzo early in the first period, on a rebound while the Battalion were on the powerplay.  Petr Kanko would power his way through late in the period.  But after an unnecessary roughing penalty taken by Andre Benoit the Rangers were down two men.  The Battalion managed to score both late in the first penalty as well as late in the period.  Wolski snapped yet another rebound past DiRienzo with only 4 seconds on the clock to regain the lead for the Battalion.

The Rangers struck back early in the second period.  Evan McGrath stepped into a wrist shot which found it's way over Machesney's shoulder short side.  McGrath found himself paired with under age call-up Mike Duco who was playing in his second game with the Rangers after a very impressive debut against the Toronto Majors only one week before.  The roof caved in on the Rangers only minutes later.  Wolski scored his second, on coincidentally a second effort.  And only seconds later a flukey type of goal saw a clearing attempt bounce on to the stick of Adam Henrich who slapped the puck into the empty half of the Rangers net before the Rangers' netminder could react.

Daren Machesney reacts as Evan McGrath's wrist shot sails over his shoulder and into the back of the net.

Things errupted after the Battalion broke the game open halfway into the second period with two quick goals.  First Paul McFarland got involved with Brock McPherson, unfortunately McFarland fell on his face and had to be attended to by: Dan Lebold.  Soon after, Ryan Bowness and Boris Valabik got to some unfinished business from the first period when the two were sent off with roughing minors.  Those fights were followed up by a tilt between Rob Smith and David Clarkson which was precipitated by a Clarkson high stick.  The fights did allow the Rangers to vent, but as they did in London after the 4-2 goal, the team looked extremely deflated for the remainder of the period.

More of the same occured during the third period for the Rangers.  However, Carlo DiRienzo made some acrobatic stops during the start of the third period to keep the Rangers into the game.  Afterwards Petr Kanko was able to capitalize on the powerplay for his 2nd of the game.  The Rangers would press throughout the remainder of the third, and would enjoy a powerplay with less than two minutes left in regulation.  They would finally beat Machesney a second time during the period but the goal that they did score was ruled to be after the final buzzer.  Giving the Battalion and their fans who chanted "NO GOAL! NO GOAL!" a 4-3 victory over the Rangers.

The Rangers have lost each of their last three meetings with the Battalion and have lost 3 in a row overall.  During their last 8 games the Rangers are 1-6-1.  Marcus Smith missed the game with a shoulder injury which occured in London.  Leaving the Rangers with only five defenders each spent time in the penalty box placing additional pressure on the already extremely inexperienced defense.  Carlo DiRienzo enjoyed his best start of late and the Rangers finished the game very strong leading to belief that the Rangers' slump might soon be coming to a close.  Kanko and McGrath both had two points a piece, unfortunately they are were the only two Rangers to have recorded points in the game.  Daren Machesney was only making his second career start, his first was an amazing one goal performance in Erie.  He has been forced into action after injuries to both of the Battalion starting netminders: Topping and Coulture.