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Make it five straight for the Rangers!
 


Eric Pfligler attempts to see through Jeff Kyrakos who's at the top of the Rangers' crease. 
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


When you're on a roll, you're on a roll.  And the Rangers whom have won 5 straight playoff matches including three in overtime, have momentum on their side.  Perhaps the biggest reason that they do have that momentum is that they seem to stuff any momentum of their opponents of late.  Late in Owen Sound immediately after the Attack had broken up the shutout bid tying the game, the Rangers really took it to them, rather than getting shaken infront of a boisterous crowd of 2,880 in Owen Sound.  Even when Michael Richard took a penalty in the final minutes of regulation they held their composure.  It's something that they did in games 5 & 6 against the Otters, they gave up the 2-1 goal and then immediately responded with a 3-1 goal.  You could accuse them of playing without emotion, but again the Rangers' were throwing their weight around and the Attack started to enjoy the physical style that the Otters enjoyed through six games in the first round of the playoffs.  The Rangers may have had their backs up against the wall in Owen Sound, they have never beaten the Attack/Plater franchise on the road in the postseason, a 0-6 record with a 0-1 mark in overtime all-time.

The Attack came out, towels swinging, and shooting-a-plenty on Rangers' netminder: Eric Pfligler who picked up his 5th win in his 4th playoff start.  At the other end Mike Brown, Eric's former teammate from Saginaw with the Spirit last season, was having an easier night until the Rangers were given a short two-man advantage.  The Rangers weren't overly potent on the short 5-on-3 but did manage to record their first shots on goal, leading to a 19-9 tally at the end of the first period for the Attack on the shot clock.  The Rangers pretty much escaped the period with a zero-zero tie, but did establish a strong penalty kill, and also laid down the ground work for what would become an increasingly potent forecheck though the game.  Stefan Ruzicka seemed to be the offensive catalyst for the Attack, he was the only forward who was making Rangers' checkers miss in the neutral zone utilizing his open ice speed through all 60 minutes.
 



David Clarkson thwarted by Mike Brown in the first period.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

David Clarkson finally opened up the scoring midway through the second period.  Bobby Ryan was in the box for slashing, and David Clarkson slammed home a rebound from a Michael Richards' shot.  Eric Pfligler was again forced to be at his best against the Attack, with Kindl finally healthy the Rangers were capable of turning 3 defensive pairings.  Those pairs were particularly abusive to Attack forwards that dared to enter the crease area and hence the Rangers were outpenalized 7-4 in the game.  The Rangers' penalty kill, one that has struggled infront of the Pfligler this season was a spectacular 7 for 7 in killing off Owen Sound powerplays.  The third period was more tight-checking than the previous two, and as a result the Rangers severely cut down the Attack's chances.  With just under 5 minutes left and the Rangers hemed into their own zone, a terrible clear up center ice landed on the stick of Mike Angelidis, Angelidis put the puck in the next promptly from the high slot sending the crowd of 2,880 into a frenzy with their towels swinging.  The Rangers stole the momentum back until Michael Richards took a slashing call that would put the Rangers down a man through the remainder of regulation time.

In overtime the Rangers dominated, the top unit, put together some quality chances, before yielding to the second line who almost scored as well, before the big number one unit returned to the ice for another offensive zone faceoff that would result in Clarkson's overtime winner.  Considering the weeknight start and the extremely short notice of the game, ticket sales and attendance were as good as could be expected at: 2,880.  For the Rangers it was their first playoff win in Owen Sound in 7 visits all-time, and 5th win in a row in the postseason.  Overall their all-time overtime record against the Attack improved to 2-1 in the postseason.  The Rangers' powerplay scored the only man-advantage marker during the 2-1 overtime victory by the Rangers.