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Rangers should've, could've been overtime winners

Andre Benoit makes sure that Ryan Munce intends to hold on to the puck during the third period on Saturday.


Much like in Windsor this season the Rangers were left shaking their heads, what should have been, what could have been.  In week two of the 2003-'04 season a puck bounced off of the post behind Matt Leduc in his only OHL start, it was ruled a goal, and the Rangers were defeated.  On this night Michael Richards wrist shot was good enough to have the goal light turn on, however according to official Brad Beer who apparently didn't see the enter and quickly exit the net, it wasn't good enough for the Rangers to rush to the ice in triumphant fashion after yet another overtime win.  Regardless, the two battles with the Sting have been extremely close ones, the only other game was tied 1-1 until late in the third period when the Rangers broke away scoring 3 straight goals for a 4-1 victory.

John Hecimovic got the Sting on the board early while the Sting were on the powerplay less than 5 minutes into the game.  The Sting appeared to be outskating the Rangers in the early going however the Rangers would turn things around and their intensity would start to equal the Sting's, David Clarkson would knot the game up at a goal a piece later in the first period wrapping the puck around the net and past Ryan Munce who was quick to argue that the near post was slightly off the goal line.  The goal stood however and as the Rangers did against their divisional foes, the Guelph Storm the Rangers replied when down early.

Carlo DiRienzo covers the puck with seveal members of the Sting in hot pursuit.

During the second period Marcus Smith made a tremendous play going down and breaking up a centering pass on a Sting two on one.  Remainder of summary to be updated Sunday night.  Adam Keefe got in on the scoring in the early going of the second period.  He converted a Paul McFarland pass, and beat Munce.  Minutes later the Sting drew even as Joey Tenute blasted a Dan Carcillo pass into the net behind DiRienzo.  The Rangers picked up an early lead in the third period.  The newly assembled line of McGrath, Keefe and McFarland went to work again and this time it was McFarland who scored, his second goal in two games.  Once the Rangers took the lead they seemed to play back on their heals, the Sting started to force the issue and Carlo DiRienzo had to be very sharp in the Rangers goal.  The Sting put 14 shots on goal in both the second and third period.  Unfortunately for the Rangers Dan Sisca would eventually have a rebound land on his stick and would tie the game sending most of the 3863 into a frenzy.

Once the game was tied the pressure started to mount on the Sting.  The Rangers put in a fierce effort to try and regain the lead.  The Rangers did score once during the dying minutes of regulation but it was ruled to have been knocked in with a highstick.  After four consecutive Sting powerplays, Sarnia was awarded a controversial penalty shot in overtime.  Jeff Whitfield jumped through a pair of Rangers defenders, Boris Valabik dove knocking the puck to the corner and in the process Whitfield off of his feet which ended up drawing the penalty shot.  The Rangers who were on the ice were caught flat-footed by Whitfield who rushed up the ice alone during a Sting wholesale line change.  The Rangers appeared to have netted the winner later, however the official did not see the puck enter the net.

Paul McFarland the third goal of his season, and 3rd point in two games, his goal gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead during the third period.  Evan McGrath who now is playing with different wingers, also had a two-point night.  The Sting and Rangers each had one powerplay goal a piece.  After their spirited battle in Kitchener Carcillo and Valabik seemed to carry their rivalry into this game.  With the tie, the Rangers remainded undefeated in 7 games (5-0-2).