Troubles in Stingland, maybe for the Rangers and Sting. The Sting have struggled this season with their coaching change and some of the personel changes that have also taken place, currently in 9th place in the conference, chasing the Windsor Spitfires who once lead the division for the final playoff spot. Somehow the Rangers have struggled with the Sting, as well as their extemely successful of late netminder: Dan Turple who absorbed a loss at the hands of the Sting and allowed 2 goals on only 3 shots on this night before being replaced by Pfligler. The Rangers struggles ended at 6:10 of the first period when Chad Painchaud beat Turple giving the Sting a 2-0 lead. The tide turned and the shotclock began to tell a very ugly story 22-6 during the first, and 19-6 during the second the hometown Sting were not adjusting to the three game weekend as well as their Ktichener counterparts. Erik Schwanz opened the scoring just after the four minute mark making good on a bad turnover by the Rangers in their own zone. Chad Painchaud minutes later caught Dan Turple coasting in the wrong direction minutes later to open up a two goal lead.
With a change of netminders, the outlook would
rapidly change from bleak to dominant. With the Rangers buzzing around
the Sting net they were able to coax an interference minor out of Erik
Schwanz, Justin Azevedo found himself infront of the net with the puck,
made some time and eventually got the puck past the Sting netminder.
Only one minute later while another interference minor was in the works,
via delayed penalty, Richards stepped on the ice as an extra attacker,
while behind the Sting net he found Keefe infront all alone and the rugged
Rangers' winger found the room to make a move around Munce. The Rangers
dominated the remainder of the period, outshooting the Sting by an incredible
22-6 margin! The Rangers carried their dominance into and through
the second period, unfortunately goalmouth scramble, after goalmouth scramble
failed to result in a lead for the Rangers. The Rangers' powerplay
got to work on another powerplay, this time it was an Andre Benoit point
shot that squeezed under Ryan Munce who appeared to have angle covered.
The third period, brought fourth some rather unpredictable events. First, was the tight play resulting in a 10-10 shots on goal period. 4 Sarnia powerplays were partially to blame for the Rangers offensive slow down in the third. The insurance marker by the Rangers came about with little fanfare, with Ryan Munce down near the post trying to cover the puck the Rangers simply dug it loose finally stuffing it around the post, Azevedo was the marksman scoring his 8th of the season. Minutes later the Sting would be a position to remove their netminder calling a timeout in the process, the events of the night before repeated themselves as the Rangers gained a 5-2 advantage on Richards' empty net goal. Unknown why, but the Sting elected to pull their netminder again while down three goals, something done by Jeff Jackson and Camp while with the Storm. Eric Pfliger who has good abilities outside of the crease came within one foot of scoring his first career goal, making a very talented run outside of his own goal, throwing the puck high and down the ice. It would have been a unique feat to add to his shutout of just under 54 minutes.
Michael Richards, already a goal medal champion also has to be a player of the week candidate after adding another 4 points to his resume finishing the weekend 3-6 for 9 points. The Rangers unbeaten in 5 have benefited greatly with some superb play while on special teams, the Rangers powerplay scored in all-three weekend wins, while going 5 for 12, and the penalty kill was an equally impressive 14 for 15 only allowing a single shorthanded goal to the Battalion while down two men. Adam Keefe scored his 10th of the season, making him the 8th Ranger to score a double-digit amount of goals this season equalling the Eastern Conference leading Petes whom earlier this week accomplished the feat, adding Jadran Beljo to their impressive list of 8. The Rangers goal scoring race continued to heat up as Richards, Benoit and Duco are all within one goal of leader: David Clarkson. Andre Benoit now has 3 goals in his last two games.