An announced crowd of 2,478 had to go home and ask themselves, if the game that they had just witnessed had actually occured on Friday the 13th as opposed to Thursday the 13th. Odd occurances were the all over the script during this game. Matt Iorianni lasted two shots on goal, one which found the back of the net, the second of which rolled through his legs and just barely off of the post. MacDougald would be brought in only 1:42 into the game, to attempt to restore order to the Petes' backend. It would be far from the end of the oddities that would simply plague the game. With the Rangers up 2-0 in the first period, Tyson Kellerman would take a Josh Patterson wrist shot to the mask, the puck shot straight up, and while everyone was searching for it, it would come down and strike Kellerman in the back and slowly bounce over the goal line.
The fun continued in the second period when the Petes top scorer: Jamie Tardif managed to trip and fall on a clear breakaway! Perhaps the weirdest play of the night came during the third period when Andre Benoit shattered his stick while delivering the death blow to the Petes on the powerplay. Benoit wound up, shot, the puck was on target, and Benoit was left with remains of his stick at his feet while the puck crossed the goal line pasted a screened Jeff MacDougald.
As always with the Petes, the game was an extremely
tough and hard hitting affair. Michael Richards answered the call
when Boris Valabik refused to fight Jon Howse during the second period.
Both captains fought and Michael Richards may have gotten the better of
the much taller Jon Howse giving the Rangers some momentum. Valabik
held back from fighting because the Rangers were again reduced to 5 defenders,
Chris Gravelding had to sit out with flu like symptoms. As per usual
Patrick Kaleta was out on the prowl waiting for any unsuspecting Rangers
to waltz into his path. The Valabik no-fight policy wouldn't continue
much longer, (does it ever??), after being challenged by both Howse and
McKeown Valabik found himself protecting one of his teammates. Bryan
Young took a run at rookie: Patrick Davis who was playing in his first
game since some lengthy time off with a shoulder injury. Valabik
would take on the rookie in a melee which appeared to be on the verge of
an all-out brawl, especially after Patrick Kaleta charged his way in.
For his actions in the fight, Valabik would receive 27 minutes in penalties,
effectively ending his night and placing the Rangers in the comprimised
scenario of playing with only 4 defenders. Unfortunately for the
Rangers, Davis would not return to action during this game either.
The Rangers led by Petr Kanko took advantage of what the Petes and more specifically: Matt Iorianni gave them during the first few minutes of the game, and with the team still in shock after the first goal, went to work on the powerplay. Kanko, who scored the Rangers' first goal, feed the puck back to Valabik who beet MacDougald from the point to give the Rangers a two goal lead. Patterson would reply for the Petes in a period dominated by the Rangers. The Rangers made the score 3-1 very early in the second period, Andre Benoit stepped into one, restablishing the Rangers two goal advantage. During the Michael Richards - Jon Howse fight the Petes took an extra two minute minor for roughing, which infuriated Petes head coach Rick Allain. Allain refused to send his players on to the ice and was given a bench minor. The Petes survived the full two minute two-man advantage through the tenacity of: their penalty killers, refusing to allow the team to go down 3 goals.
Early in the third period the Petes got just what they wanted. Liam Reddox was able to get his stick on the puck infront of net with Heshmatpour covering to redirect a Jon Howse pass through the legs of Kellerman to bring the Petes back to within one. The Rangers would be on their heels until the Petes would take a costly goaltender interference penalty, leading to Benoit's shattered stick point shot for insurance. Michael Richards filled the empty net with the Petes playing the dying minutes 6 on 4.
Boris Valabik scored his second goal in 3 games,
and found his way to the penalty box for a grand total of 33 minutes on
this night. The win was the third straight for Tyson Kellerman, and
was 3 in 4 overall for the Rangers. The loss for the Petes extended
their 3 game losing streak that they had going into the game. Tyson
Kellerman has only allowed 4 goals in his last three games combined, his
goals against average dropped to 3.00.