September 6th, 2004
Much like the day before the Rangers got off to a quick start scoring early and unlike the last game keeping their opponents off of the scoresheet during the first period. Mike Chmielewski took a Cam Fergus feed and beat Brampton Battalion starter and 4th year veteran Kevin Coulture with a warparound goal. Rather than subject Paul McFarland to more playing time outside of his element on the blueline the Rangers' staff elected to start Andre Benoit on the blueline and make McFarland a healthy scratch. Unfortunately Andre Benoit was unable to be the game breaker that the Rangers' could have used to claim victory in the third period with the game tied at two and the Rangers on the powerplay. The Rangers took a 2 goal lead when Chris Bryson cashed in on the rebound of a Boris Valabik point shot. Both Brampton netminders struggled to control the rebounds of some of Valabik's accurate point shots.
Unlike the previous matchup, the first period
turned out to be the most aggressive of the three, or at least the most
fight-filled period of the bunch. Things started off with John Seymour
making a few too many digs at netminder: Mark Packwood, Devereaux Heshmatpour
took exception, and what is sure to be one of the longest fights of the
pre-season started behind the Rangers' net. Heshmatpour and Seymour
traded blows for over a minute, though the majority of those punches were
landed by Heshmatpour. Soon after there was an ugly incident infront
of the Rangers' where several cheapshots were delivered by both teams,
unfortunately things led to a Battalion powerplay and also resulted in
Mike Duco getting cut after a brief exchange with veteran defender: Stuart
Simmons, both players were sent to their respective rooms and unfortunately
Duco went to the room with a cut on his face as well.
Late in the first period, Aaron snow broke the shutout bid late in the first period, his tally was unassisted. When the ice was barely dry less than one minute into second period the Battalion drew even. Ryan Oulahen beat Packwood and suddenly a new game was born. Both teams traded many powerplay opportunities, but neither could break into the lead. In the end it was a fairly poorly contested game, that did have it's moments. Mark Packwood made several big stops in the early going which pretty much prevented the game from being tied significantly earlier.
Several Rangers' defenders had improved performances. Dan Gyenes looked more comfortable on the blueline. Valabik who looked less than inspired on Sunday, was both focused and intense, not to mention ruthless at times. Probably most comforting was the improvement shown by Jakub Kindl who intercepted lots of passes as well as breaking up some rushes something that he struggled with in the previous matchup, he spent much of the afternoon paired with Valabik again, but also saw time with several other Ranger defenders, he earned one assist on the afternoon.
The Rangers scratched: McFarland, Richards, Clarkson, McGrath, and Tuomi from their lineup. Cam Fergus had his first preseason point, an assist on the Chmielewski goal. Patrick Davis had another strong outing but unlike last game he was held pointless. Eric Pfligler made 8 stops during the third period, his only period of play (the only period where the Rangers managed to hold a shooting edge), he did make one big stop in the period. Coulture only lasted one period for the Battalion but didn't look overly sharp, Daren Machesney was extremely strong during his two periods stopping all 17 shots the Rangers