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Topping gets some revenge on former teammates
 


Brad Topping prefered having Clarkson as a linemate, rather than parked infront.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


After an impressive effort in Plymouth the Rangers, fell just short in Windsor.  In essence early game antics whether caused by or contributed to by the Rangers ultimately got them off-track early and when they did recover and get things into gear Topping seemed to have all of the answers.  Topping the former Rangers' netminder that they traded to Windsor for the Spits to utilize as an overager, the pick that they acquired in the deal eventually became Myles Applebaum at the draft table, a star on the horizon.  Much like the Rangers' last visit to Windsor, the early portion of the game was plagued by chaos and a multitude of penalties.  Last game it was a complete line brawl that plunged the game into complete disarray early, this time it was a series of stoppages where players didn't appear to be interested in stopping the after whistle stick-work and cheapshots on either side of the puck.  Unfortunately for the Rangers they found themselves down a man more often than not, at least early in the match, 6 of the first 7 penalties were assessed to the Rangers, prompting DeBoer to refuse to send his players back on to the ice midway through the second period until official Joe Park could come up with an explaination for the successive Rangers' penalties.

On only the second shift of the first period, the Rangers found themselves in a hole, Cal O'Reilly while behind the Rangers' net with Tom Mannino fed the puck out front to David Lomas who shot the puck from the top of the crease the second that it hit his stick, into the back of the Rangers' net only.  The goal scored at 2:24 of the first marked the second time that Spitfires fans would send bears flying to the ice against the Rangers in the history of Windsor teddy bear nights, or in this case afternoons.  Lomas, a third-year Spitfire leads the club in goals and points, and has nearly eclipsed last season's goal totals still early in the 2004-'05 campaign, Myles Applebaum lost his check immediately infront of the Rangers' goal.


Downie is thwarted by Turple early in the first period.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

In the second period, the Spitfires enjoyed a 26 second two-man advantage, the second penalty was assessed for delay of game to Dan Turple, surprisingly it was not Turple, but Kindl who actually knocked the net off ended up serving the penalty anyhow.  The Spitfires scored the eventual winner while on a full two minute, two-man advantage, later in the period.  Mark Fraser was given a high-sticking minor and in the mess that ensued Valabik was given a double-minor for head-butting, Valabik's penalty was especially hard on the Rangers who relied heavily on Valabik's reach and strength in their last visit to the Windsor Arena when they found themselves down two-men on three seperate occasions and managed to negate each opportunity.  This time they weren't so lucky, David Lomas - the games' third star scored again, and for the second time Turple who was extremely solid in the Rangers' net didn't have a prayer in stopping the point blank shot.  After starting the second period without a shot in nearly 10 minutes and 9 against the Rangers turned the tables.  While on their own powerplay Benoit's point blast snuck through a crowd to beat Topping, coaxing a few teddy bears out of the hands of Rangers fans.

The Rangers' best opportunity came in the third period when Patrick Davis made a very athletic move to get to the net for a deflection opportunity, but just barely tipped the puck wide of Topping, who was very solid in the Windsor net, but also very fortunate, at times.  The Rangers also pressed with their net empty and an extra attacker on the ice, they picked up a temporary man-advantage in the game's final minute and though they outshot the Spitfires 34-23, they fell short.  Mike Duco's career-high steak of four straight games with a goal ended, Andre Benoit's goal added to his league leading goal totals (for a defender) of 12, leading Trevor Hendrikx who has 10.  The loss in Windsor meant the first losing weekend for the Rangers since their home-at-home with London to start the season.  The Rangers also continued a disturbing trend where they've been unable to score on the road, they have 50 more goals on home ice then they do while playing on the road where they have a 5-5-1 record.