Special game report courtesy of the man with
the yellow hat:
It was becoming obvious that the anemic Rangers' offense might be in need of a shutout in order to get a win. Somehow this dream became a reality as the Rangers held on to their precious 1-0 lead, only some breathing room in the final two and a half minutes after Patrick Davis' second goal of the game. The Rangers delivered an improved effort, Turple delivered a shutout. After coming oh so close only two nights earlier, Turple picked up the second Rangers shutout of the season (DiRienzo scored the first in St. Michael's). The Rangers were the ones with the late period magic, scoring the eventual winner just prior to hitting the dressing room for the second intermission.
In Sudbury when the Wolves score a wolf is run out on wire over the ice, in the Soo they have a Greyhound, which I expect the Rangers hoped they wouldn't see very often tonight. I arrived at the Soo Memorial Gardens after watching Soo favourite Jeff Carter score a hat trick for Team Canada and Mike Richards also getting a goal. Both would obviously be missing from the line up tonight. The Soo were also missing Martin Tuma, Jakub Cech (both Czech Republic), Ryan McInerney(Ontario Under 17), Josh Day (Newfoundland Under 17), Blair Jarrett (knee injury - 2 weeks) and Jordan Smith (appendicitis - at least 10 days). The Rangers iced the same team as last night. Turple again started for the Rangers with Gajewski getting the start for the Greyhounds. The referee was Peter Kostyk.
The Soo started well controlling the early
exchanges forcing Turple to make some good saves. However at 6:38
McFarland drove to the net and was pulled down to give the Rangers a power
play and that took away the early Soo initiative. From that point
on the Rangers had the better of the period however their best chance came
with a minute to go in the period when the Voakes broke away short handed
and force a toe save from Gajewski. For the third game in a row the
Rangers held their opponents scoreless in the first however also for the
third straight game the Rangers were also held scoreless in the first period.
The shots on goal were 16 to 9 in favour of the Rangers, Gajewski made
some good saves to keep the
Early in the second period Combs took a obstruction hooking penalty, on the ensuing powerplay Keefe broke in short handed, however as he cut he lost an edge and failed to get a shot away. The Soo came back and forced a couple of good saves from Turple, including one from point blank on a rebound. The Rangers broke out 2 on 2 just a Combs penalty expired to give the Rangers a 3 on 2 break, however Gajewski made two great saves to deny the Rangers. The Rangers had the better of the play in the period until 16:10 when Henderson took an interference penalty which allowed the Soo to apply some pressure. As the period entering its last minute it appeared that it too would end scoreless however at 19:34 the Rangers broke in 3 on 2, but the Soo broke it up but the puck ran loose in the goal mouth and Davis pounced on it to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead with McGrath and Keefe drawing the assists. That was how the period ended. The Rangers again dominated on the shot clock out shooting the Greyhounds 16-8 in the period for game totals of 32-17. Gajewski again kept the Soo in the game with Turple performing well when called upon.
In the second intermission Steve Spott was
on the Soo radio station and stated that the Rangers were in search of
some "size on the wall" from a good North/South winger and the Rangers
were happy down the middle, on blueline and in goal. The Greyhounds
started the period will and had the better of the first half of the third
period. A familiar problem dogged the Rangers when they had difficulty
clearing their zone. The turning point was another penalty when Keefe
was pulled down by Lawrence, however the Rangers were unable to take advantage.
The Soo tried a couple of time to draw high sticking penalties when as
soon a the sticks came up a little their heads would jerk back, but the
referee wasn't buying it. At 17:14 McGrath battled for the puck behind
the Soo goal and managed to get it out into the slot where Davis buried
five hole on Gajewski, McGrath and Keefe again drawing the assists.
The Greyhounds pulled Gajewski, but the Rangers broke up the play at center
ice and Clarkson fire the puck into the empty net at 19:32 with Benoit
drawing the assists. That completed the scoring to give the Rangers
a 3-0 win. Shots in the
The three stars were:
3rd star: Turple - a good solid performance
when required and a shutout.
Attendance was 3409 and the greyhound did not leave its kennel all night!