When is it ever a good idea to take a too man men infraction? Perhaps on Saturday night it was the magical time. As a puck found it's way around the Rangers defensive bench door, Deveraux Heshmatpour stepped on the ice, nearly played the puck then thought better of it. Instead the puck slowly crossed the blueline, where Stefan Ruzicka embarked on a 2 - on - 1 with another Attack forward, Benoit played the pass, and Ruzicka's wrister beat DiRienzo over his shoulder. The play, which was the turning point in the game, was followed up by yet another Ruzicka wrist shot which found it's way through DiRienzo's legs late in the third with the Rangers and Attack playing 4-on-4 hockey. Last season, this type of situation would have been the Rangers forte, instead, in this game the 4-on-4 led to the Rangers demise.
The Rangers probably on an extended high from their huge 8-1 victory over the Erie Otters on Friday night, appeared to be in cruise control early, and the Attack took it to them early. DiRienzo was a sharp and lucky, several times he was left out in the cold by his teammates, and was left sprawling, at one point he was forced to make a cartwheel-like circus save. Despite 15 shots on goal and many of them quality opportunities. Only Bobby Ryan was able to bulge the twine for the Attack who have been as dominant as ever on home ice this year, their home record improved to 8-1-1 with the win. One of the to be highlights of the first period would have been a heavyweight scrap between Thomas Harrison and Smyth, unfortunately Smyth tripped on his stick and the two went crashing to the ice quickly after, ending the short fight, which was still good for 5 mintues a piece.
The Rangers during the second period struggled.
There was a point where the Rangers didn't record a shot on goal for nearly
10 minutes. With a pair of demunitive agitators: Adam Keefe, and
Tom Zanoski in the box serving minors, Andre Benoit jumped up and helped
set up a beautiful passing play which quickly lead to a Petr Kanko goal.
Robert Gherson didn't have a chance on the shot on the Rangers were finally
on the board after some pretty lackluster play during the game's middle
The Rangers got out to a quick start during the third period as Craig Voakes snapped a shot past Gherson at the 1:23 mark giving the Rangers their first lead of the game. The Rangers would slap puck rentlessly at Gherson from that point on but as he was in the previous two games against the Attack this season, Gherson proved to be quite the task in beating. The Rangers put 16 shots on goal to the Attack's 9, but their superior effort was not enough to overcome some defensive miscues late in the game. With time running down and DiRienzo on the bench, the Rangers pressed, but much like in Brampton, their attempts at a buzzer beater just fell short, as the team dropped a 3-2 decision.
The Attack's two games against the Rangers
have drawn their biggest crowds this season, both topping 3,100 fans.
One bus of Rangers fans made the trip, as well as numerous others in cars.
The Rangers fans in attendance were quick to cheer when Adam Smyth was
first assessed a 10-minute misconduct and then a second ten while in the
penalty box during a stopage later in the game. Anthony Pototschnik
sat his second straight game as a healthy scratch. Official Ian Smith
elected to let the two teams play, there were only 7 powerplays during
the game, 4 to the Rangers and 3 to the Attack, neither team scored on
the man advantage.