The Rangers decided to debut the newest models of their third jerseys. Decked out with similar duds to the Montreal Canadiens thirds the Rangers weren't quick to disappoint their hometown crowd, at least not immediately. The Rangers weren't hesitent when it came to pounding the puck at Adam Dennis early in this hard-hitting wide open affair. When Mick Okrzesik was charged with interference immediately infront of his own net the Rangers finally broke through on the man advantage. Evan McGrath utilizing the skills that have made his former linemate: Davide Clarkson a star, found himself playing and holding the puck until the Storm defense collapsed out infront of the net, he didn't score but Andre Benoit snuck in from the point and was able to pound the rebound past Dennis. Minutes later the Rangers would strike twice in 21 seconds. First Craig Voakes picked up a rebound and made little mistake, and immediately afterwards, Mike Duco converted a Michael Tuomi shot giving the Rangers a commanding 3-0 lead. After a Storm time out, Ryan Challahan put the Storm on the board, with a blast that Pfligler was unable to handle.
The Rangers entered the second period where
they left off in the first. The Rangers carried a powerplay over
the intermission and upon arriving back on to the ice, Michael Richards
zipped a puck through: Adam Dennis. Minutes later a scrimish infront
of the Rangers net would lead to some rough stuff. With lots of pushing
shoving involved, Adam Keefe dragged Mark Lytwyn out of the pile and began
to administer a beating, one that would continue after Lytwyn hit the ice
because both of the linesmen were busy escorting Devereaux Heshmatpour
and Dan Giradi to the penalty box. For the Rangers the 10 misconduct
received by Heshmatpour, leaving the team with only 4 defenders, as well
as the instigator penalty received by Keefe would tend to leave the team
vulnerable to a Storm comeback at the time. The Rangers would play
through admirably though. Adam Keefe returned to the ice creating
an abreviated two-man advantage, Patrick Davis would give the Rangers a
commanding lead seconds later. With time running down in the period
and the Storm on the powerplay, Ryan Callahan snapped a puck off of the
inside of the post area, it temporarily seemed to confuse the game officials,
but was quickly and correctly rulled a Storm powerplay goal, for Callahan
it was his second of the night.
Unfortunately the momentum gained by the late period goal would be carryied into the third period by the Guelph Storm. The impact would not be immediate however. Ryan Callahan would find himself in the penalty box for four minutes after hitting Paul McFarland who was off-balance into the boards from behind. The powerplay would be interrupted by a Rangers penalty, but the remainder would be effectively killed. Soon after playing 5 on 5 again, Mark Lytwyn really stepped into a shot, and while Eric Pfligler stepped out of his net to cut down the angle, but unfortunately lost the angle on the net behind him, bringing the Storm to within one. Immediately afterwards the Storm would be challenged by yet another Rangers powerplay, this time they would not wait for the powerplay to conclude before striking again. Ryan Card and Kyle Spurr entered the Rangers' zone shorthanded, a centering pass would deflect right onto the stick of Spurr who simply beat Pfligler shaking the confidence of both the Rangers and their 19 year old netminder. In the following minutes, Pfligler appeared to have nerves get the best of him, struggling with bounces and other adventurous shots which nearly found their way over the goal line. With the Rangers not regaining their composure Peter DeBoer called a timeout. While the third period was dissappointing the Rangers finished strong not allowing the Storm to enter the zone in the final minute, 30 seconds. Paul McFarland (pointless in the season thus far) had the best chance at the Storm empty net.
The Rangers finished the 4 game set in 5 days
with a 2-1-1 record. Their first game wearing the old third jerseys
was also against the Guelph Storm and resulted in a thrilling 4-3 victory.
The scoring for the Rangers was spread evenly throughout the lineup, 5
different players scored, and also 5 different players had 2 points on
the afternoon. Michael Richards contributed on both the 4th and 5th
Rangers goals breaking a string of 3 consecutive games where he and his
linemates have been held scoreless. Though they both struggled in
the often wide open game, Eric Pfligler and Adam Dennis both went the distance
allowing a combined 9 goals against. Prior to gametime, it was announced
that David Clarkson had a broken bone in his wrist from the Saturday night
game in Plymouth.