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Marcus Smith an offensive force against the Fronts

Teddy's On the Ice in Kingston
Tyson Kellerman stands in the crease while Kingston youngsters clean up the teddy bears during the first period.

Compared to the rough and tumble affairs that occured between the Rangers and Frontenacs during early 2003, this matchup was relatively tame.  Not that the game didn't have it's share of rough and tumble play, however it didn't feature some of the heavyweight tilts that seemed to fill the two games were the teams squared taking turns embarassing each other while in the opposition's home building.  The Rangers already crippled with the loss of three of their mostly potently offensive individuals in Andre Benoit, Michael Richards and Petr Kanko all of whom are away at World Junior camps, well prior to game time more bad news would roll in.  The Rangers would also have to make due without defender: Matt Lashoff, and gritty forward: David Clarkson who suffered a shoulder injury against the Windsor Spitfires.  Clarkson will miss returning to Belleville for the second time, last season he was out due to a suspension.

The Frontenacs weren't without problems of their own.  Easily their number one scorer: Anthony Stewart was absent with Michael Richards and Andre Benoit who are coincidentally in Kitchener, in one of the ice pads of the Memorial Auditorium.  Stewart was the only veteran out of the Frontenacs lineup, and the aside from some grit that the Frontenacs came up with missing Stewart from the lineup, their fans, only 2,015 were armed with teddy bears that they were prepared to throw on the ice in the event of a first goal.  It wasn't the Rangers first visit to Kingston for the popular bear night and as before the Fronts didn't leave much in the way of suspense for the first goal, they scored on a first period poweplay.  The Rangers really pressed in the first period, rookies like Franchin, Fergus and Potoschnik were attempting to make an impression seeing some expanded ice time for the first time this season, and the Rangers pressed, but weren't rewarded for their efforts.  Worse yet the Frontenacs scored again late in the period increasing their lead to 2-0.

Evan McGrath Drives Chris Beckford-Tseu Late in the Game
Evan McGrath and netminder Chirs Beckford-Tseu watch as a puck just barely deflects wide.

The Rangers displayed some of the team moxy they displayed while Derek Roy and Gregory Campbell were absent at the World Junior championships last season.  4th year veteran netminder: Chris Beckford-Tseu seemed to have all of the right answers until late in the second period when the Rangers struck twice, Marcus Smith and Evan McGrath scored two goals.  Both goals were extremely ugly looking, but came as a result of some hard work by the Rangers.  Entering the intermission, the Rangers were outshooting the Frontenacs 28-10.  Marcus Smith for the first time in his OHL career scored a second goal in the same game, his point blast snuck through Beckford-Tseu.  The Rangers had their first lead of the game.  The Rangers appeared to be en route to being shorthanded when Boris Valabik took a holding penalty, Bryan Rodney took a very undisciplined spearing double-minor and all appeared to be going according to plan for the Rangers.  That is until the Frontenacs took a shorthanded breakaway, Kellerman would close the door on the first chance, however the rebound was pounded in, tying the game 3-3.

At this point the game's momentum shifted in the favour of the Frontenacs who outshot the Rangers during the third period.  Only one minute into the overtime period, Kingston would score, however the goal was immediately waved off due to a Frontenac high stick behind the net.  The entire overtime was a mixture of disorganized and high octane play.  The end result was a continuation of the Rangers, now 11-game unbeaten streak.  Though Tyson Kellerman struggled during the first period, he came up with some big stops during the third period including a breakaway stop.  The Rangers tied their 3rd consecutive road game 3-3, and continue undefeated in 7 in overtime (2-0-5).  Cam Fergus was used on the point sparingly during Rangers' powerplays.  Both Mike Chmielewski and Peter Franchin had excellent efforts for the Rangers.  Eric Himelfarb had three points on the night and was named the games' first star.  Evan McGrath also tallied three points, but wasn't recognized in terms of being given a star.  Tyson Kellerman started both games against the Frontenacs this season for the Rangers, Kellerman's hometown is Kingston.