Aside from not completing Nathan O'Nabigon's hat trick there was really not much unfinished in the Rangers' 5-1 triumph over the Otters avenging an embarassing 7-2 setback in Erie that broke a lengthy unbeaten streak over the Otters. The Rangers got on the board early and often continuing some of the momentum that they gained in a critical matchup against the Guelph Storm on Tuesday night. Due to the absense of Paul McFarland one of the most recent absentees from the Rangers' lineup due to injury, Evan McGrath was put between gritty wingers: Nathan O'Nabigon and Adam Keefe on the Rangers' number two line. Craig Voakes who was dressed on Tuesday but did not play saw time on the Rangers number 3 line. O'Nabigon didn't take long to strike after being assembled with McGrath, he scored his 25th early in the game, immediately after killing a penalty the Rangers struck again, this time Keefe was the marksman.
After half a period of chippy play the Otters
finally got into penalty trouble, around the same time, 12 minutes in they
put their first and only shot on goal during the first period. A
succession of 4 straight Otter penalties, highlighted by an amazingly undisciplined
roughing minor to Bryan Hamm that left the Otters two-men short quickly
took away any hopes of an Otter comeback. First Nathan O'Nabigon
scored his second of the game, and less than one minute later with some
superb passing Petr Kanko notched his 24th of the season and 4th in the
last two games. The Rangers tried relentlessly to feed O'Nabigon
for the hat trick but failed, still the Rangers held a commanding 4-0 lead
after one period.
The Rangers got into some penalty trouble of their own during the second period, but the Rangers' penalty kill seemed to dominate the Otters, and even came close to scoring. The Otters replaced Josh Disher with 16-year-old rookie: Jhase Sniderman, the change in netminders may have stopped the flow of Rangers' goals, however the Rangers didn't appear as hungry during the second period and weren't at all interested in opening up the game. The Rangers shutout abruptly came to an end when Chris Campoli walked into the hihg slot, received a pass and snapped it over the shoulder of: DiRienzo who couldn't have possibly seen the shot coming. Late during the third period with the Otters on the powerplay, Michael Richards gave O'Nabigon one more chance at the hat trick, he stormed in along, Sniderman managed to thwart his chance, but Richards would follow up depositing the puck behind Sniderman in the game's final minute.
Despite the absense of defender: Thomas Harrison
who is out injured along with Deveraux Heshmatpour, Otters toughguy: Bryan
Hamm was a non-factor after the first period. After his vicious,
but very costly sucker punch on Boris Valabik he found himself confined
to the Otters bench by an all too displeased: Dave McQueen, and aside from
a confrontation with a Rangers' fan late in game was rendered incapable
of stirring up any trouble. Adam Keefe and Nathan O'Nabigon, first
and second star respectively, was the game's first and second stars.
The Rangers powerplay went a healthy 2 for 6, while the penalty kill was
a devastating 8 for 8, with one two man advantage killed along with a shorthanded
goal. Carlo DiRienzo for the second time in two games had a very
solid game between the pipes for the Rangers. Brad Topping was scratched
with an injury suffered in practise, Matt Leduc was called up from Jr.
B to backup the Rangers just incase.