Jesse Boucher who led all Rangers' in scoring during the pre-season seems to have finally found his stride with the Rangers this season. After a hat trick during last Friday's 5-3 victory over the Ottawa 67's Boucher was back at the office again this Friday night. His goal and three assists accounted for each of the Rangers 4 regulation time goals, Craig Voakes and Michael Richards teamed up for the overtime winner. Richards, who led the Rangers in points was not to be outdone on this night either. Richards scored one and had three helpers of his own, including the setup pass for the overtime winner while playing the blueline for the Rangers in an effort to squeeze another point out of a game which at one point appeared to be an easy victory.
Things didn't look overly promising for the Rangers in the early going. Just over one minute into the game Petr Kanko hit an off-balanced Iain McPhee into the boards, his check was ruled to be a five minute hitting from behind major, which intailed an automatic game misconduct. Things immediately got worse when Rob Hennigar scored very early during the Windsor powerplay. The Rangers would put the skids on the downward trend pretty quickly after that.
The visiting Spitfires were limited to only
3 shots during the first period while the Rangers pelted 22 in the direction
of Kyle Knechtel who stood his ground until the midway point of the period
when Nathan O'Nabigon set up Jesse Boucher's tying goal on the powerplay.
Later in the period Adam Keefe followed up with his 6th goal, Keefe's career
high for goals was established last season during a suspension shortened
season with 8. Richards added to the lead in the second period before
a Matt Lashoff lazer beam on the powerplay singed the back netting on the
Once it appeared as if the Rangers were completely in control of the game, the Spitfires started to claw their way back into the game. Spitfires speedster: Darryl Lloyd broke in all alone while the Spits were killing off a penalty blasted past Jesse Boucher's check and zipped a shot top corner on DiRienzo. Things only got worse for the Rangers later in the period, while backpeddling Boris Valabik slipped up and fell in the corner. Craig Kennedy stripped the puck from Valabik went around the net, his centering pass came into contact with Valabik's skate just as he was getting back into the play and deflected in the net after crossing through the crease.
Peter DeBoer elected to throw veteran netminder: Tyson Kellerman into the fire during the third period. Kellerman responded well in the early going thwarting several Windsor opportunities in close. In all the Spitfires would put 18 shots on the lanky Rangers' netminder and with just over 5 minutes remaining in regulation Rob Hennigar would bring the Spitfires back even with his second goal of the game. Craig Kennedy assisted on that goal, his 4th point of the night.
In overtime, the DeBoer elected to gamble as he did against the London nights and had Michael Richards playing defense with Marcus Smith, the move paid quick dividends as Richards would set up Craig Voakes' one-time winner from behind the net. The Rangers with the victory are now 3-0-0 in overtime on home ice, all three wins coming during the Rangers current 9 game unbeaten streak (7-0-2). Iain McPhee would not return to the ice for the Windsor Spitfires after being hit from behind. Paul McFarland for the Rangers was also his from behind however John Scott Dickson was assesed a double-minor for the infraction. 3 skaters enjoyed four-point nights, and all three were named stars in order from first to third Michael Richards (1-3), Craig Kennedy (1-3) and Jesse Boucher (1-3). As advertised in the KW Record on the previous Friday Tyson Kellerman has new equipment, he wore it for the first time in his relief performance.