Kitchener finally became the last victim of the IceDogs after nearly seven full seasons in the OHL the IceDogs managed to defeat the Rangers, though the shorthanded Rangers made it close late. And thus ends the tremendous streak of futility for the IceDogs, their all-time record against the Rangers improves to 1-12-1, but what appeared to be a sure win became shrouded in doubt late in the third period. Michael Richards, Patrick Davis and Myles Applebaum were out of the lineup again, and Mike Duco may join them on the weekend, he was helped off of the ice in considerable pain that was a result of a match-penalty hit from behind by Anthony Butera late in the third period. The flu bug that had ravaged the team during the weekend wasn't as prevelent on this night but there is no mistaking some of the missing energy from many of the Rangers' skaters, especially up front.
Penalty trouble as well as penalty controversy
would be the flavour on this night. Things would get kicked off right
away with a minor for roughing only 7 seconds into the first period, Boris
Valabik made it a shortened two-man advantage a minute and a half later.
The Rangers killed of both minors as penalties continued to flood in.
Adam Keefe took on Kitchener native John Hecimovic midway through the period,
Hecimovic was unable to play in the previous matchup only 6 days earlier
because of a suspension for punching a player from the bench in an earlier
game. Surprisingly Keefe did quite well against Hecimovic who holds
a rather distinct size advantage over the scrappy Adam Keefe. David
Clarkson and David Pszenyczny also made their way to the penalty box with
fighting majors a well. Clarkson started the scrap behind the play,
but fortunately for the Rangers this as well as many other things went
undetected by officiating. The Rangers got on the board first, and
it was a goal bound to be a first for one of the newest Rangers wingers.
Ryan Donally took a swipe at the puck deep in the crease before Jean Michel
Rizk finished the play off with his first goal as a Rangers and 7th of
the season. Minutes later Jesse Jenish beat Turple who elected to
poke check during a horrible Rangers' breakdown, it was Jenish's first
as an IceDog and also first of the season, though his season at only 5
games is relatively young at this point.
The Rangers got sloppy while on the powerplay in the second period. A later period man advantage led to a pair of breakaways for Jordan Owens, on the third try Patrick O'Sullivan went in and put the moves on Turple who wasn't able to keep up with the slick two-time star for team USA at the World Junior Championships. The turning point of the game might have come early in the third period, in the offensive zone the Rangers had the puck right on the Mississauga IceDogs goal line, but couldn't quite put it over, Ouzas on the other hand couldn't cover the puck. Immediately after it was dug out of the crease the IceDogs charged down the ice, they caught a break when the puck deflected off of the back of one of the Rangers' defenders and then finally Vladimir Svacina got the handle on the puck and fired it past Turple. Craig Voakes took a double-minor for highsticking after an akward collision where he was also cut, soon afterwards Boris Valabik was given a minor for crosschecking. During the first stoppage in play after the IceDogs started the two man advantage coach Peter DeBoer was assessed a bench minor, and then after much in the way of delays a game misconduct after which official Mike Pearce finally skated to the Rangers' bench to explain his calls. The next stoppage in play was a goal by Tom Zanoski on the two-man advantage. Rangers' fans really gave it to Pearce who at that point had given Mississauga 9 powerplays to the Rangers' 6.
Undaunted the Rangers made their move when they finally started getting some calls in their favour. David Clarkson made good early on the powerplay when John Hecimovic was called for tripping. Later in the period things would radically change. With the Rangers already on the powerplay Anthony Butera would slam Mike Duco into the boards with some authority and from a very bad angle putting the Rangers' up two men after the match penalty to Butera. Duco took his time getting back up and really laboured in getting off of the ice. David Clarkson took a pass from Justin Azevedo and slammed the puck through Ouzas' legs to bring the Rangers' to within one and with only just over one minute left the Rangers hit the inside of the left post. Unfortunately, even with their netminder pulled they would not come close again. Clarkson's goals gave him a total of 30 on the season, he has scored a pair of goals in each of his last two games. The Rangers are now 11-4-5 in their last 20 games. The Rangers are now finished with the central division, they defeated each team twice and had a 6-3-1 record overall.