The Rangers have three of the most highly regarded rearguards availabe in the 2005 NHL entry draft on their roster. On this night two of them scored goals with the score tied, the most promising of the trio has yet to score, infact he has yet to find his way into a game Matt Lashoff who is finally starting to practice with the team after a bout with Mono. In his 64th regular season game in the OHL, Deveraux Heshmatpour scored his first after Keefe dropped the puck to him at the point and the former 1st round pick simply blasted the puck along the ice and into the net. The one rearguard that OHL teams never seem to be able to keep down, was at the center of things late in the game. While in overtime netminder: Francois Thuot was called for tripping Benoit, during the same stoppage the Colts would call for a measurement on Benoit's stick, leading to the Rangers' two-man advantage in overtime. Speaking of Andre Benoit, he penciled his name in beside: Paul Reinhart as the franchise's all-time highest scoring defender with 7 seconds on the clock in the first period. For Benoit his assist was his 231st career point, apparently a team record tied with a legal stick as well.
Scoring first on the road didn't seem to be
the tonic for the Rangers whom scored first in both Windsor and Erie and
left both cities without wins. On this night the Colts would score
first Czech import: Michal Bimer scored with a wrist shot after taking
a cross-ice pass from: Travis Fuller. The Rangers seemed on their
heals early giving up an uncharacteristic amount of odd-man rushes most
stopped by Pfligler and his unorthodox but during the first period of play,
effective style of netminding. The Rangers 0-12-1 on the road dating
back to mid-February of the previous season seemed undaunted because of
the opportunity which lay infront of them. The Barrie Colts were
suffering through injuries and suspensions of their own, and Barrie seemed
like an ideal spot to win their first road game, thus bringing their record
back up to .500. While on a powerplay in the dying seconds of the
first period, Andre Benoit entered the zone with Voakes, fed the puck to
Voakes who's floating backhander finally beat Barrie netminder: Francois
Thuot with only 7 seconds left on the clock.
Only 30 seconds into the second period the Rangers, dressed in their new third jerseys would take their first lead of the game. Evan McGrath would scoup up a loose puck and beat QJMHL castoff: Thuot. The lead, however would last less than one full minute. Andrew Hotham's point shot would find it's way through a maze of Rangers, Colts and into the back of the Rangers' net, it was Hotham's first career goal and it came Rangers all over him at the midpoint of the blueline as he was shooting. Later in the middle frame the game's results seemed to fade into the background when Michael Richards' hand came up lame during a fight with Colts rookie: Jordan Shine, after the two had agreed to fight, a Michael Richards' right hand connected directly with Shine's helmet. Shine was kind enough to let Richards escape, and Richards was quick to rush to the training room for immediate assistance. With their leader's status in doubt the Rangers really began to sag for the first time since early in the first period. Richards' return to the penalty box, lifted spirits which gave the Rangers' their second lead of the game. A Jakub Kindl point shot deflected and found it's way past Thuot on the glove side.
In the third period, thing went bust again for the Rangers. While shorthanded Travis Fuller stepped into a shot which Pfligler got a piece of before it rolled over his pad and into the net. Late in the period Adam Keefe dropped a puck to the blueline where Devereaux Heshmatpour made little mistake in blasting the puck through a crowd of Colts beating the screened Colts netminder. After a Colts timeout, the Rangers struggled to hit the empty Barrie net. First Paul McFarland received the puck at center ice and was unaware of the yawning cage, moments later: Adam Keefe slipped up while taking the puck to center ice. The Rangers would regret both of these chances lost when BJ Crombeen would find himself with the puck on the Rangers' doorstep with only 9 seconds left to tie the game. In overtime, Michael Richards was the hero, after the Colts netminder was called for tripping Andre Benoit, and during the same stoppage the Colts made the mistake of calling for a measurement of: Andre Benoit's stick which failed to produce the desired result and created a two-man advantage. The Richards goal interrupted the Rangers winless string on the road, and continued the Rangers' perfect 2-0-0 record while wearing their new third jerseys.
The Rangers, again were playing without the
services of defenders: Matt Lashoff, Boris Valabik, and Chris Gravelding,
star forward: David Clarkson was also out of the lineup. Michael
Tuomi who originally came up through the Colts system was released by the
Rangers prior to the game. The Colts were missing a few of their
own key players: Evan Brophy is serving the final game of a suspension,
Scott Hotham is also serving a suspension, Ryan Hamilton as well as Lukas
Bolf round out the list of Colts stars missing in action. Eric Pfligler
has started, 4 fo the last 5 Rangers' games going an undefeated 3-0-1 in