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Rangers begin long road stand on wrong foot
 


Mike Brown snags a Patrick Davis shot.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


The Rangers embarked on their season-high 7 game road trip on the wrong foot, and those feet may have belonged to the more dimunitive Eric Pfligler who struggled in goal early in Owen Sound.  Owen Sound put together a quick 3-0 lead in the first period scoring on pretty much evey opportunity that they had, breaking the game open and seldomly looking back.  The Rangers accustomed to the heorics of big Dan Turple of late didn't have magic between the posts though their netminder: Eric Pfligler did settle in nicely once the score was 3-0, he shut the Attack down for about 40 minutes straight, some of that in spectacular fashion.  What killed the Rangers was their slow start, that and their complete failure to score with many of their primary cogs out the lineup.  Lately the Rangers have been winning with a combination of pure grit and 1st star calibre netminding on this night they seemed to lack both at times and the results were the wheels falling off with the Rangers allowing the Attack to steamroll over them 5-0 while doubling them up in shots 32-16.  Eric Pfligler finally absorbed a loss, his last loss was on home ice to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds way back on October 15th of 2004, an impressive run.

The Attack got on the board early when Igor Gongalsky's wrist shot rolled over Eric Pfligler's glove and and continued into the net, a shakey opening goal and things were about to get worse for the Rangers.  Later in the period with the Rangers on the powerplay Andre Benoit dove out to try and stop Gongalsky's clearing attempt, he may have gotten a small piece of the puck and Jakub Kindl did not back him up Jonathan Lehun picked the puck off of the blueline, he stormed in all alone and beat Pfligler through the five-hole giving the Attack a 2-0 lead.  The Rangers followed up the shorthanded tally with a couple of very questionable at best penalties at best.  First Boris Valabik was called for holding, though both of his hands were clearly on the stick, very early in the powerplay Ryan Donally took a slashing minor when he hacked through the composite stick of one of the Attack forwards.  During the two-man advantage Brad Richardson put a shot on goal from a poor angle, the rebound was kicked right up the center and Patrick Jarrett was there to slap the puck into the back of the net putting the Rangers down 3-0.  It ended an embarassing first period where the Rangers were outshot 10-2.
 
 


Ryan Donally and Adam Smyth take out some frustration.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

This divisional battle brought out some tempers on both sides.  Robin Big Snake landed some huge blows after an impressive start by Adam Keefe, who gave away some size in the battle.  Clarkson and Angelidis hit the ice before they were able to get much going.  Ryan Donally and Adam Smyth battled with Donally getting the best of the smaller Attack defender.  In the second period Matt Pepe was forced into a fight instigated by Igor Gongalsky, Gongalsky got the instigator while Pepe headed to the dressing room early due to a tie-down misconduct as a result of the fight.  The second period was probably the most entertaining of the three though it included absolutely no scoring.  Patrick Davis had the Rangers best chance of the game but was robbed by Mike Brown.  At the other end of the ice Eric Pfligler made several impressive stops which often included poke checks and diving stops.  He frustrated Attack snipers like Stefan Ruzicka and Patrick Jarrett, turns out it was the most active period for both teams on the shot clock as well the Rangers were outshot 14-9.

In the third period the Rangers elected to pull Pfligler early in an attempt to sneak back into the game. Brad Richardson and Bobby Ryan entered the zone on a two-on-one with Andre Benoit defending, Richardson elected to keep and put a quick wrister past the stick of Benoit, this goal came with just under 3 minutes remaining in regulation time.  Only 29 seconds later rookie: Jeff Kyrzakos finished the scoring with a 5-0 goal.  Brad Richardson's goal was the 200th point of his OHL career.  Mike Brown's shutout was the 3rd of his season and 7th of the netminder's 3 year OHL career.  For the Rangers it was their 3rd shutout of the season against.  Those shutouts have all come at the hands of divisional rivals whom the Rangers have struggled with to this point of the season.  Dan Gyenes and Paul Yovanic were in the Rangers' lineup but saw limited ice time until the game was out of reach late in the third period.