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Knights too much for younger Rangers
 


Michael Richards takes a shot to the head by Coleman, fans were livid when Richards was also assessed
a penalty on the play.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


The Rangers were slumping on the way into this critical showdown with their fiercest divisional rival: the London Knights, at times they looked slump prone during the game.  When the smoked had finally cleared the Rangers were simply two gimme goals away from a 5-5 tie with the Knights, and a chance at being seen as equals with the team that appears as head and shoulders above the rest (if only for one brief night) but for the Rangers reality was cruel.  During the first period Evan McGrath threw a puck over a partially empty net, the goal would have made him the first and only multiple teddy bear goal player, in the final minute of the game with six attackers on the ice, the Rangers failed to score with Gerald Coleman not only down and out but upside down as well.  Simply put the Rangers didn't execute as flawlessly as the Knights, there was no conversely the Knights missed their chances, when the net was partially empty, or there was an upset down Dan Turple, London filled the empty part of the net or flipped the puck over Turple when he was down and out.  Turple for his part had a solid but not at all spectacular outing stopping 21 of 26 very difficult shots.

The Knights did not take their time in breaking the ice, Bryan Rodney pounced on a Trevor Kell rebound and slammed the puck into the empty half of the Rangers net without even two minutes passing.  The period continued to be chippy, and midway through Corey Perry scored to give the Knights a 2-0 lead, he took a feed from Robbie Schremp and one-timed a bad angle shot just past Turple.  Minutes later Evan McGrath had a glorious opportunity looking at him with a yawning cage yearning for the puck, McGrath wristed the shot over the net, he looked to the raftors for guidance after the inopportune shot.  Only onesecond after a Kelly Thomson penalty had expired and with the Rangers having posession in the zone Patrick Davis' shot fond it's way into the crease where Mike Duco buried it, scoring his 5th of 6 games.  Coincidental minors to Richards and Coleman allowed the crowd to vent it's frustration late in the period.  Richards skated in rather innoscently and picked up a blocker in the face, things appeared balanced second later when Corey Perry was violently driven into Turple and picked up a netminder interference penalty of his own.


By any means necessary, after taking a beating fom Boris Valabik, Drew Larman could have had another
one with the puck, but his play may have thwarted a Rangers' goal in the dying seconds.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

The second period was obviously the strongest of the three for the Rangers, and Turple had to be at his best to keep the Rangers somewhat into the game.  Very early in the period Jakub Kindl made a bad drop pass with no one behind him, the end result was a clear-cut breakaway for Rob Schremp where Turple made an impressive kick stop to keep the puck out.  Later in the period Corey Perry was able to take a shot from point blank range, Turple turned it away and was there again when Perry came calling with his own rebound.  Eventually Turple would relent, Valabik would first.  Valabik took the opportunity to sucker punch Corey Perry in the face behind the play, unfortunately like any run of the mill school teacher official Terry Hobor has eyes in the back of his head and made the call.  The Rangers would regret this infraction as the Rob Schremp managed to deflect the puck in off of a diving Dan Turple.  Through the Knights would pressure the Rangers would thwart the next man advantage.  The next advantage would also occur with Valabik in the box, this time he took exception to a slew-foot by Drew Larman on Dan Turple behind the Rangers' net, in the ensuing fight Valabik was a clear victor, dominating the smaller former Sting forward.

The third period was by far the most exciting and intense of the three.  The Knights quickly scored to expand their lead to three goals.  David Clarkson then wristed a shot top corner on Coleman from far out bringing the Rangers back to within a pair.  The back-breaker was a Jordan Foreman point shot midway through the period that was tipped past Turple by a Rangers' defender.  The Rangers did strike again as Adam Keefe took a Paul McFarland rebound and quickly turned it into a garbage goal.  The Rangers would press having many brilliant chances but little finish in the final two minutes with their netminder out of the net.  The announced attendance of 6,489 was the highest announced crowd in nearly 4 seasons, it was the highest post-rennovation crowd.