As the Rangers entered overtime, they seemed destined to follow a disturbing trend of inter-divisional overtime losses. In the end it may have been Turple that turned the tide, he made several big stops, none bigger than when the 6-foot, six-inch netminder slide himself out to force a one-timer wide from the low slot wide by Mark O'Leary who was left all alone infront of the Rangers' net. The Rangers, all in the later half of the month of December has suffered overtime losses to 3 of their divisional rivals, each in the latest meeting with the Otters, Knights and Attack. The Rangers fortunately elected to break this trend, which would have sent most Storm fans home very happy, including one lil' camper who predicted a 3-2 Storm win and stood to gain a $500 prize for guessing correctly. At the end of the afternoon, the Rangers' remained undefeated against their fierce rivals the Guelph Storm, having tied the Storm 2-2 for the second time this season, they are now 2-2-0 in four meetings with the Storm having equal home and away records. Michael Richards was hoping to keep up Canada's winning ways later in the afternoon and did not disappoint, as the Canadians won 3-1 over the Czech Republic, meanwhile Storm captain Ryan Callahan's team USA are matched up with Russia in the later game. Both the Storm and Rangers played their final games without their team captains.
After a relatively tame game up in the Soo,
the Rangers reverted back into more of a rough and tumble mindframe in
Guelph. Only 36 seconds into the game former Oshawa General winger:
Corey Konecny squared off with Adam Keefe, the two had gotten together
during a visit to Oshawa, and Konecny had gotten the best of Keefe.
In this matchup it would be Konecny who would be simply holding on for
life, Keefe struggled, finally landing a vicious body slam on Konecny with
neither of the two really landing any blows. Only minutes later,
defender: Tyler Doig would take exception to a late hit by Kevin Henderson,
the two fell into the ice together and returned to their feet before finally
getting seperated, Tyler Doig had his gloves off and was already feeding
Henderson a strict diet of punches, before Henderson knew what was happening,
and hence the instigator went to Doig. The powerplay obtained by
the instigator, eventually led to a Rangers' goal. The powerplay
started miserably, but as it was about to expire, Paul McFarland tipped
his 8th goal of the season through Adam Dennis, Jakub Kindl supplied the
point shot on the opening goal. Prior to this chance David Clarkson
snuck through the Storm defense and around Dennis, alas he could not beat
the outstretched stick of Dennis which was sprawled across the ice in a
seemingly invain attempt to thwart a Rangers' goal. At the other
end of the ice, Jakub Kindl made a horrible mistake while trying to kill
time in his own zone during a penalty kill, Turple was forced to stop a
breakaway chance, and had to rely on lady luck when the rebound was sent
along the ice through the lower part of the crease narrowly missing both
The Rangers had less luck early in the second period. With Jakub Kindl in the box for hooking, it was the Storm's chance to capitalize on the powerplay. Ryan Kitchen found Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn alone infront of the Rangers' net, he promptly slapped the puck through Turple's legs getting the Storm on the board. Only one minute and 39 seconds later while the Rangers were on a powerplay of their own, the Storm entered the zone 3 on 2, Girardi the trailer on the rush snapped a partially screened wrister over the shoulder of Turple, giving the Storm their first lead of the game. The remainder of the period featured an fairly anemic looking Rangers' powerplay who were thwarted in 4 opportunities, and allowed the aforementioned short-handed goal. While playing a few rare shifts while both teams were at full strength the Rangers did have some quality chances, Adam Keefe slung a wrister off of the cross-bar, Paul McFarland managed to fight his way infront of the Storm' net but his attempt bounced off of the post harmless after it appeared as if he had Adam Dennis beaten.
The third period was largely uneventful until Patrick Davis scored his 3rd goal in his last two games. For Davis, it was his tenth of the season, making him the 7th Rangers in double-digits goal scoring, the Rangers share the OHL lead in that quirky offensive category with the Ottawa 67's and Peterborough Petes both of the Eastern division. The tie completed the Rangers mini-3 game road trip at .500 (1-1-1), while the Guelph Storm are 2-1-1 since the break, having back-to-back shutouts, prior to a 4-1 loss to the Attack and 2-2 tie with the Rangers. The Rangers can clinch at least a tie in the season-series with the Storm and work their way towards the hardly covetted "Great Canadian Trophy" annually awarded to the winner of the Guelph-Kitchener season series. Daniel Girardi, the marksman for what appeared to be the winning goal while shorthanded, was named the game's first star. Dan Turple has started and finished each of the last 4 Rangers' games since the Christmas break. In those games, he's compiled a 1.93 GAA, helping lower his season GAA to: 3.29.