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Reserves struggle through undefeated weekend
 


Dwight Foster (3rd from left) is honoured as his family and 5,900 of his closest friends are on
hand to watch his likeness rise to the rafters.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


There's a revolving door on the Rangers' infirmary, and that's probably not the direction that coach DeBoer wants see things going to.  The Rangers saw the addition of a couple of reinforcements in: Jean-Michel Rizk and the services of Chris Bryson who missed his team's 4-2 victory over the Guelph Dominators in order to help bolster the Rangers' lineup which seems to be getting more depleted every single game.  Prior to the game the Kitchener Rangers Organization chose to honor one of it's all-time greats: Dwight Foster.  Dwight Foster was a Rangers superstar in the 1970's during his presentation clips of his best NHL performance - a hattrick while with the Boston Bruins were shown on the scoreboard, the crowd errupted in cheers when Foster scored the third goal of three.  A banner, similar to that of Benoit's was raised in his honor.  A long overdue jesture by the Ktichener Rangers.  During his speach he thanked the fans and drew laughter when he commented that some things haven't changed too much after all the same coach is behind the visiting bench as when he played (Brian Kilrea, the living legend behind the 67's bench).  Unlike one night earlier, and with the additions up front the Rangers' and 67's really brought an action-packed first period with contact and scoring chances, something fans appreciated on the rare Saturday night home date, the first regular season game in a great many years to be scheduled on a Saturday night.

Both teams traded blows and scoring chances until David Clarkson finally broke open the scoring at the 15:20 mark of the first period, surprisingly the earliest opening goal in the three weekend matchups.  If it wasn't for big Dan Turple the period wouldn't have remained scoreless for the 67's, he made two spectacular glove stops highlighted by one on Kaspar while on a 3 on 1, the Rangers' defender was forced to take the pass away leaving Kaspar in for what was the equivalent of a breakaway.  He fired a fierce wrist shot earmarked for the top corner that Turple snagged with his glove hand.  In the second period the Rangers managed to up their lead.  Myles Applebaum scored his second in 3 games while playing four on four, his line really dug deep and with some good fortunes and a bouncing puck managed to beat Matthew Speeza who was starting in the place of regular number one netminder Danny Bottachio who has been out injured.
 



Ottawa netminder: Matthew Speeza takes a page out of the Dominic Hasek book of goaltending.  As he drops his stick and
picks up the puck at the side of the net with his block glove.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

The 67's busted up Dan Turple's shutout bid only minutes after the Rangers' had gained a two goal lead, Jakub Petruzalek converted an Arron Alphonso pass, the goal broke up a tremendous run by the Rangers' netminder where he went nearly 170 minutes only allowing one goal.  Minutes later, the 67's would find themselves on a powerplay thanks to a relatively weak roughing call on Boris Valabik who didn't appear to be using excessive force when converging with his check in open ice.  The penalty wouldn't take long to convert into a 67's goal with only 17 seconds remaining in the period.  Julian Talbot redirected a Lukas Kaspar pass-shot past Turple on the far side.  Things only got worse for the struggling Rangers' in the third, big defender Boris Valabik was taken into the boards hard with an emphasis on his knee.  He struggled and ultimately failed to get back into the play.  Derek Joslin's point shot was not seen as it snuck through a crowd infront, it deflected off of Turple's pad, up, over and into the goal giving the 67's the lead.  Worse yet, Valabik would not return to the ice after the goal, leaving the Rangers with only 4 defenders having lost the services of Matt Pepe due to a groin injury in Peterborough.

Midway through the period, Jean-Michael Rizk took a cross-check across the back of the neck from Jamie VanderVeeken, he followed VanderVeeken around the ice and eventually the two fought on the boards infront of the 67's bench.  Soon after Mark Fraser became involved with the always annoying Brad Bonello, while the two were off for roughing Julian Talbot set the stage for another late game comeback with a high stick on Andre Benoit.  The Rangers only needed 35 seconds on the powerplay to tie the game.  Andre Benoit's point shot was tipped by Clarkson for his second goal of the season.  The Rangers lost the services of Clarkson for most of the remainder of the game due to a 10 minute misconduct received in the ensuing struggle after the goal with netminder Matthew Speeza.  Speeza was already a very unpopular player after punching a Rangers' forward in the face behind the net with a blocker on during the first period.  The scoring ended there, but Dan Turple had to stand tall in goal for the Rangers in the final few minutes to preserve the precious point.  As they did the night before the Rangers dominated in overtime, but failed to score.  The tie combined with the Owen Sound loss, brought the Rangers one point closer to the Owen Sound Attack, who now lead by 11 points over the Rangers.  David Clarkson, the Rangers' leading scorer, scored his 22nd and 23rd goals in the 3-3 tie, he ranks 15th in the league despite only appearing in 36 games.