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Rangers win rough and tumble shootout vs. Petes

Despite allowing 6 goals, Petes netminder: Jeff MacDougald was solid in net for the Petes, and made several
big stops against a relentless Rangers' offense.

The Rangers thoroughly tested Petes netminder, and Detroit Red Wings draft pick: Jeff MacDougald during the first period.  It took the Rangers 1:56 seconds of a full two minute: two man advantage for Kanko to finally beat the lanky netminder only after he was down and out making a nice stop on Andre Benoit.  Petr Kanko's goal came as a result of a high sticking double minor to: Greg Williams followed up by a hotly contested too-man men call on the Petes.  The Petes would have their opportunity soon enough late in the period Matt Lashoff was also assessed a double-minor for highsticking, Deveraux Heshmatpour would follow-up with a roughing minor after taking exception to one of the Petes crashing the crease around Topping over-ambitiously.  Suddenly the Petes were up two men for a full two minutes and while it didn't take them quite as long as the Rangers to finally score they had lots of trouble gaining the Rangers' zone and almost scored early enough to continue up two men.

The second period would be a wild one.  The Rangers would build up a quick 3-1 lead on goals by: Evan McGrath and a funny looking unassisted wraparound goal by Paul McFarland.  Those goals were only 25 seconds apart.  As it did in the first period, a man-advantage would kick-start the Petes offense.  Liam Reddox found Petes offensive specialist: Mark Flood streaking in from the point, and Flood made little mistake in filling the gapping Rangers' net.  Rangers' fans voiced their frustration since the powerplay was given to the Petes only after an instigator penalty to Paul McFarland who took exception to Jamie Tardif's hit from behind on Evan McGrath if the defensive zone, Tardif was not asssessed a penalty on the play.  Minutes later the Petes would draw even, Rangers' newcomer: Alex MacDonell would trip up in the neutral zone, with the end result being a three on one where Reddox, underage star: Ryder and the punishing: Patrick Kaleta would create a give and go that would simply leave Topping hanging out to dry and the Rangers' lead completely evaporated.

Thomas Harrison clears a Pete forward out of the view of Brad Topping during the first period.

The Rangers dominated the second half of the second period.  David Clarkson and Evan McGrath both scored to restore the Rangers two goal lead.  Early in the third period Jamie Tardif would bring the Petes back to within one goal, but that is as close as the Petes would get from that poitn on Michael Richards would reply immediately with a powerplay marker, and Nathan O'Nabigon would seal the Petes fate with an emtpy netter.  Petes rookie Bryan Young would continue to be unpopular with the Rangers.  After a thundering, but clean hit in Peterborough that put Patrick Davis on the shelf again, Bryan Young, hit Adam Keefe with an elbow along the glass, Keefe would enact some revenge taking down the rookie defender in a very quick fight.

With the 7 goals scored, the Rangers leap ahead of the Guelph Storm and are now the second highest scoring team in the OHL with 157 goals, unfortunately the Rangers defense ranks 7th in the conference.  On this night the Plymouth Whalers took over 5th spot and would start the playoffs against the Rangers if the playoffs were to start immediately.  The Rangers after nearly a month on the road, started where they left off infront of a very full Memorial Auditorium, winning.  The Rangers are currently riding an 11-game unbeaten streak on home ice after starting the season playing sub-.500 hockey on home ice.  The streak is the longest in all of the OHL regular season thus far.  The Rangers have won 9 and tied 2 games in that stretch.  The Rangers win over the Petes continues the Rangers' dominance over the Petes, they have won 5 consecutive meetings, after an embarassing 7-4 loss in Peterborough where the Rangers once trailled 7-2.  With his 4-point performance: Liam Reddox leads all OHL rookies with 39 points (19-20), the Rangers top rookie scorer is Patrick Davis with 16 points, though in 16 less games, as he has not been healthy for a good portion of the season.