Expect . . . the unexpected. It's a theme in the OHL, on a night where the dead last in the OHL - last place Oshawa Generals upset the Eastern Conference leading Peterborough Petes, the Sarnia Sting, last in their own conference all gave the Rangers a degree of trouble before falling 6-3 against the Rangers. After, breaking up the Rangers' sensational 12 game unbeaten streak in the first of four head-to-head meetings this season. The one constant has been the netminder matchups, Turple vs. Munce, and for the most part, the more experienced Munce has gotten the best of his counterpart, a rare instance when speaking of Turple who's season record against the Sting is 2-1-0. The Sting quite litterally have tormented the popular Rangers' netminder this season and chased him from the Rangers' net in Sarnia and almost against on this night while on national television. That's the bad news, the good news is that Dan Turple won't be seeing the Sting for the duration of the regular season or in the postseason for that matter.
As is recent tradition, Adam Keefe started
the game with a penalty, he accumulated game totals left him only 43 minutes
short of his career goal of: 1000 minutes in penalties. Unfortunately
this minor left the Rangers on goal short of being tied, Chad Painchaud,
the former IceDog, scored very early pounding a one-timer past Turple.
From that point on in the first period the Rangers took control of the
game. Patrick Davis was on fire in the opening period. He has
several chances and even rang the puck off of a post after some swift moves.
Mike Duco and Patrick Davis crashed the net when the Rangers' tied the
game, Duco came into contact with Munce and Davis potted the goal.
The next Rangers' goal would be the most controversial of the game.
With Scott Restoule lying on the ice injured, Evan McGrath sailed a wrister
directly over Restoule who was down and out that beat Munce at the top
corner, he was down on the ice for nearly 15 seconds prior to the goal.
It was the first of three consecutive goals that Mark Fraser would assist
on, in what turned out to be a career game. McGrath struck again
less than 5 minutes later, he finally dug the puck out of a massive scramble
infront of the Sting' net it was McGrath's 27th goal of the season.
Two fights of note both prior to tying the game. First Michael Richards
took apart Richard Clune and soon after Keefe dominated in his bout with
After ending the first period in impressive fashion, the Rangers began to sag in the second period. Marco Caprara found himself unharassed infront of the net, and managed to flip the puck over Turple, Valabik left the box with the goal but then was forced back into the box with an undisciplined unsportsmanlike minor penalty. The Sting didn't score on that powerplay, but it didn't take too much time for history to repeat itself, shortly after the Rangers' returned to full strength Macro Caprara found himself infront of the Rangers' net again and this time flipped the puck up into the top corner for the 9th goal of his final OHL campaign. The Rangers' appeared to be on the ropes and backup netminder: Eric Pfligler was preparing to enter the game. It was at that point Michael Richards picked up the Rangers on his own, after a spirited fight in the first period seemed to give the team momentum, Richards took a carefully placed Mark Fraser pass, accellerated ahead of the Sting defender and proceeded to deke netminder: Munce giving the Rangers their first lead since the first period. His highlight reel goal, made it all worthwhile for those who sit at the south end of the building and only witnessed one other goal during the course of the game while the north end saw 7 goals including an empty net up close and personal.
In the third period the Rangers' really got off on the wrong foot, Lashoff had returned and a new defender (Pepe) had been sidelined and while seeking revenge after a fight gone wrong with Jakub Kindl in the second period, Mussleman jumped and threw an elbow at the head of the Rangers' defender, he would not return to action. After the game coach DeBoer would described the incident as one of those the league was trying to remove from the game. The Rangers were forced to spend the better part of the period with only 4 defenders rotating. The Rangers finally iced this one when Jean-Michel Rizk backhanded a feed from the top of the crease into the net giving the Rangers a two-goal lead late in the third. Adam Keefe added another when he stole the puck after what appeared to be an icing was waved off because of the Sting defender returning with such little speed. Keefe filled the empty net with his 15th of the season. Dan Gyenes only appared late in the third period. His Dutchmen remain alive after a 9-4 road victory against the Cyclones in Listowel. Mark Fraser had three assists, nearly doubling his season total which currently stands at 7, definately a career night. Andre Benoit's two assists leave him only 7 points shy of the 300-point plateau over his career, a tough but worthy challenge over the final 4 games of the regular schedule.