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Rangers back into home ice for the postseason

Brad Topping tries to look through Patrick Jarrett infront of the Rangers' goal.

The Rangers struggles against the Owen Sound Attack continued on Saturday night, the Attack also continued on their hot streak.  The Attack winners of their final three games of the season, were able to vault their team into 6th place overall in the Western Conference leap-frogging the Erie Otters, to draw a first round matchup with the Guelph Storm, whom they defeated on Friday night.  The Rangers on the other hand with the notable exception of a home matchup with the Plymouth Whalers, seem to be trending in an opposite direction these days.  The Rangers were only able to take one of 6 games from the Attack, that victory coming on home ice, they finished the season 1-4-1 against Owen Sound.  The Plymouth Whalers were able to defeat the Erie Otters on the road to draw dead even with the Rangers, but on Sunday afternoon against a Windsor Spitfires team who was playing for their postseason lives, they fell 6-2 giving the Rangers home ice advantage by virtue of having more regular season wins.

The Attack got started early in this one.  Andre Deveraux popped a rebound into the back of the Rangers net only 3:12 into the game with Thomas Harrison in the box for tripping.  Kevin Harvey gave the Attack a 2-0 lead only minutes later.  Michael Richards would open the scoring for the Rangers with his team leading: 36th goal of the season which also came on the powerplay.  Perhaps the most influential part of game in terms of it's contibution to the postseason, was Adam Smyth's thundering hit on Thomas Harrison in the corner.  Harrison would not return to the ice for the duration of the game, however he would continue to sit on the bench.

Adam Smyth wins a third period faceoff against the Rangers' Nathan O'Nabigon.

The Attack got to work again early in the second period, Stefan Ruzicka, the OHL's leading rookie scorer would beat Topping on the powerplay restoring the Attack's two goal lead.  From that point on the Attack peppered Topping with shots during the second period.  During the third period the Rangers got themselves right back in the game, Nathan O'Nabigon zipped a shot past LaCosta who was started the bulk of the Owen Sound Attack games down the stretch.  Late in the third period Jeff MacDermid took a Mike Angelidis rebound which carromed off of the post, and fired the puck into the back of the net.  The Rangers wouldn't really get close from that point on, predominately due to a Peter Franchin roughing minor.

Brad Topping started and completed each of the Rangers' last three regular season games, compiling a 1-2 record and 4.00 goals against average.  Despite the Rangers strong 4th place finish, they finished a total of seven games below .500 within their own division, only recording a winning record against the Erie Otters, and finishing the each of the other seasons series' three games under .500.  At the season's close, David Clarkson would be assessed a 10 game suspension for a dangerous slash in Guelph, two of those ten games were served during the regular season.