After a sloppy effort in their return to home ice against the Sarnia Sting, after a two week absence, the Rangers turned in a good effort on Sunday afternoon, but just didn't get the desired results. Ryan MacDonald who recently starred in a stunning upset over the London Knights three Sunday's earlier, was up to his old tricks when he encountered the Rangers. MacDonald inproved his career record to 2-0-0 in Kitchener with a 2.50 GAA, more often it was a case of simply stopping the puck, but rebounds for the former Knight netminder were far and few inbetween, he seemed to vacuum up every single shot fired in his direction. In the end it may have been the Rangers' inability to score on some of their chances while shorthanded in the first period that hurt their chances the most. Ryan MacDonald watched one puck bounce off of his shoulder and across the top of the net finally resting behind the goal. After that he make some huge stops on Michael Richards, Patrick Davis and finally Kevin Henderson, all while the Rangers were playing shorthanded in the opening frame. Kevin Henderson even had his hands in the air perpared to celebrate a goal prior realizing that MacDonald had the puck in his hand.
Later in the first period Andy Hyvarinen beat
Turple and after what was a period of dominance the Storm emerged with
a 1-0 lead. In the second period the Storm increased their lead,
Matt D'Agostini caught the Rangers' who were in need of a line change.
Matt Lashoff tried to hook the 19-year-old rookie, but in the end D'Agostini
continued to fight through eventually wristing a puck past Turple on the
near side. After the Storm had taken a two-goal lead, Boris Valabik
while playing with Mark Fraser went into offensive mode. On several
occasions the big defender made some moves sneaking right in on MacDonald,
but like many other Rangers' failed to beat the stellar netminder.
Early in the third period while the Rangers were taking some gambles in
order to get themselves back into the game, Ryan Callahan and Tyler Doig
found themselves on an odd-man rush. Mark Fraser was uanble to pick
off Ryan Callahan's pass and Tyler Doig made little mistake with his opportunity.
Once the Rangers' offensive machine gets running it can prove hard to stop, they finally got their break when Mike Duco managed to flip a puck in top corner past MacDonald while falling into the ice midway through the period with the Rangers down 3-0. The comeback attempt was then thwarted by several key stops by Ryan MacDonald before Storm coach Dave Barr reacted to the Rangers' onslaught by calling a timeout which seemed to help the Storm settle. Cory Konecny, seemingly public enemy #1 in Kitchener after his check-from-behind on Justin Azevedo, then slammed Mike Duco into the boards with a level of force. Konecny left for the box, but dissappointingly for Rangers' fans it was only for a minor boarding penalty. Fortunately for the Rangers' Duco would be able to return after skating off of the ice rather gingerly. The Rangers would fail to score on the man advantage but would create their own man-advantage later by pulling Turple with 2:25 left in regulation, Justin Azevedo caught a stroke of luck while behind the Storm net, he banked the puck off of the back of MacDonald's leg bringing the Rangers to within on goal. Mike McLean would seal the deal with 26 seconds on the clock, beating Adam Keefe who was attempting to guard the vacated net.
Jean-Michel Rizk had an entertaining bought with former Knights defender Ryan Potruff, Rizk a patient fighter picked his spots before landing a flurry of shots while taking Potruff down into the ice. The loss against the Storm was the Rangers' first since March 9th when the Storm defeated the Rangers 7-4, in between the Rangers were unbeaten in 6 against the Storm 3-0-3 claiming the season series in the process. The Rangers again had to work without the services of: Jakub Kindl, and Matt Pepe both of whom are out injured. Dan Gyenes who filled in could be the busiest Ranger in history. His Kitchener Dutchmen played on Saturday night, will play again on Monday, and should they win again will be scheduled to compete on Wednesday night, after a game with the Rangers on Tuesday night. Jean-Michel Rizk continues to show flashes of brilliance that have illuded him while in Kitchener, he has put together back to back strong efforts for the Rangers and was named the game's second star.