When referencing the Rangers and their netminding, DiRienzo stands tall beside the dimunitive but acrobatic Pfligler, when you looked on to the Oshawa Generals bench you'd have seen the Generals number one netminder: 6'5" Dan Turple who dwarfs the Rangers' third year netminder. Regardless of stature the Rangers big man stood tall in a netminder battle in Oshawa with Ryan Gibb. DiRienzo won the game, but somehow slipped behind Gibb in the battle in the three stars, with the home town giving Ryan Gibb the nood for 2nd star ahead of Carlo DiRienzo who was 3rd star. The Rangers have had a strangle-hold on the Generals ever since a humbling 8-1 loss in January of 2000, the Rangers tied one year later and since then possess a 4 game winning streak against the OHL's most storied franchise. Two of the most respected franchises in the league, meet on a lazy and poorly attended Tuesday night and at points the two teams couldn't have been more disrespectful. Each team stands a very good chance of being short 3 players going into their next games.
The Rangers and Generals experienced one of
the fastest whistle-free first periods in recent memory. Tyler Donati
broke in on DiRienzo midway through the first period the Rangers' defense
converged on him, and DiRienzo cut down the angle diminishing what appared
to be the best chance of the period into more of a nice try which would
have involved fortune and some tremendous skill. That the was story
all night long for DiRienzo and the Rangers, closing on the Generals shooters
and severely cutting down their shooting angles. In the second period,
the Rangers finally got on the board. Joe McCann's line simply kept
on plugging away and finally managed to deposit the puck into the Generals'
net. 21 seconds later the Generals would have an answer of their
own, Mark Prentice simply launched a high howitzer from the faceoff circle
over DiRienzo's shoulder knotting the score at one a piece. For Mark
Prentice it was his first ever OHL goal! Mike Duco scored late in
the period to restore the Rangers' lead, but again the Rangers nearly coughed
up the lead. Carlo DiRienzo had to get some help, Matt Lashoff just
barely pulled the puck off of the Rangers' goal line.
The third period started ugly and got nastier as it went on. On the opening faceoff, Adam Keefe immediately squared off with Corey Konecny the battle thrilled the crowd of 2289, a modest Tuesday night showing. Adam Keefe was in tough at the beginning of his fight, but later took the advantage, he left the ice visably annoyed smashing things on his way to the Rangers' dressing room. Oddly enough Keefe's solution to his first fight issues was to simply start another. He grabbed Tom Jefferson and repetatively pounded the rookie earning a game misconduct and instigator minor in the process. It would be the tip of the ice berg in a wild third period. With only 6 minutes left in regulation Andrew Gibbons found Justin Azevedo at center ice without the puck and landed a heavy knee. Matt Pepe who was nearly in a fight earlier in the game would take matters into his own hands, he attempted to mug Gibbons and was intercepted by: Corey Konecny, Matt Lashoff joined in the fray for the Rangers, meanwhile Joe McCann and John Neal squared off in the opposite zone. Nearly every player on the ice was involved in the brawl, which eventually would lead to a 5 minute powerplay for the Rangers, with a kneeing major being assessed to Gibbons on the play. The Generals successfully killed the minor and would go on a powerplay of their own during the final minute of play, but really wouldn't threaten.
The Rangers infused a trio of players into the lineup and at the end of the night they may have 3 players taken away from their lineup. Both Matt Lashoff and Chris Gravelding, both played their first games of their respective seasons. Matt Lashoff took a regular shift returning from his bout with mono, Gravelding was returning from shoulder woes, but his return was made on a Rangers' forward line. For most of the night Gravelding played alongside Jack Combs and Evan McGrath. David Clarkson returned from his wrist injury sustained in Plymouth, he played with a soft cast on his hand. Joe McCann, Matt Pepe and Adam Keefe all will probably find themselves suspended after sustaining game misconducts. For the Generals Andrew Gibbons, Corey Konecny, and John Neal all were ejected during the same stoppage in play. The Generals may have also lost the services of leading scorer: Tyler Donati who left immediately after falling awkwardly into the boards in the corner favouring his shoulder. The Rangers had to make due without the services of Boris Valabik, Myles Applebaum, and Craig Voakes all out with injuries prior to this game. The road win was the third straight for the Rangers.