For three straight seasons now, we've all heard about the "Wrath of McGrath," at least those of us who have watched a game or two on Rogers Channel 20, with Roger Wardell doing the commentary. Wardell during his broadcasting career also involved former Rangers' netminder Scott Dickie in the fun, calling a spectacular save a "Dickie Delight." Still, most of us have only seen a skilled centerman in McGrath and not the vicious, destructive monster that a name involving 'wrath' might imply. But when you look at the damage, the carnage left behind by the Rangers' leading scorer of 2004-2005, one might utilize an adjective like "wrath." In two games the 4th year forward has put 9 points up on the board including 5 goals, giving him the outright lead in the OHL's scoring race, over several of his peers who have played in 3 games. With a minimal amount of scoring returning, and defence looking to be the Rangers' strong suit, McGrath will be counted on for some timely scoring and lots of it. In this matchup he scored a pair of game tying goals before Mike Duco gave the Rangers the lead for good.
For Turple, no one said there wouldn't be days
like this. Infact, to start the season in Oshawa there were plenty
of them. But Dan did his best during the opening two periods.
Several disturbing trends have emerged, the Rangers aren't shooting half
as much as they were in previous seasons, past the midway point of the
second period, the shots on goal were 14-4 in favour of the Guelph Storm.
A bigger, badder trend for the Rangers were the second period infractions,
on Friday night they allowed 8 powerplays, on this afternoon it was 7 second
period penalties all before the 14 minute mark when the Rangers finally
got their act together, somehow the Storm were the beneficiaries of 4 two
man-advantages in the second period alone. Turple bent but wouldn't
break, the Storm could not get a three-goal lead, an the importance of
that lead, was underlined by a Storm timeout with a better than one minute
two man advantage looming, that and naturally the final score, a result
of not collecting that 3-0 goal .
The Rangers opened the first period with a powerplay, but failed to generate much their four powerplay sputtered, failing to put shots on goal, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th man advantages were cut short by lazy infractions to the Rangers. The Storm opened the scoring in the first period on a two-man advantage Rafael Rotter, the dimunitive but, impressive Austria product, found Kelsey Wilson in the open in the high slot, Wilson fired a one-timer over the glove of Turple. In the second period the Storm got to work again early on the powerplay, Cory Konecny managed to pound a rebound past Turple giving the Storm a 2-0 lead. The Rangers' got a stroke of luck after dodging the bullet with far too many penalties, they took the mometum from the huge penalty kills. Craig Voakes found himself alone infront of Ryan MacDonald Voakes, made the shot infront of a shocked MacDonald, the puck caromed off the post and into the MacDonald's leg and just barely over the goal line and in. Evan McGrath then wowed the crowd, he took a pass from Yves Bastien, and then proceeded to wander through, seemingly the entire Storm team before outwaiting Ryan MacDoanld who had already committed, throwing the puck in over the line tying the game, that to that point was simply dominated by the Storm..
After so many spectacular stops in the first two periods, a relatively soft wrister from: Andy Hyvarinen, beat Turple restoring the lead in favour of the Storm. It didn't take long for the Ranger to knot things up this time, Justin Azevedo broke his stick while on the powerplay making a shot, the puck, unfortunately for the Storm, found it's way on to Evan McGrath's backhand, he simply flipped the puck into the net, tying the game at 3. Later in the period Mike Duco gave the Rangers their first lead of the game, his goal somehow topped the highlight reel one by McGrath earlier. Mike Duco was stalked behind the Storm net but refused to give up on the puck or his footing, he came out infront and eventually backhanded the puck into the net, sight unseen!! Jean-Michel Rizk added a powerplay marker with the Storm in a daze after a too many men infraction. Evan McGrath completed his hattrick but using his speed to ensure an empty net goal while shorthanded. The Storm were given a power play with 2:14 left on the clock and pulled their netminder immediately, but failed to score.
Mark Fraser was accidentally cut late in the third but did return to the ice to help kill the final two minutes. Matt Lashoff was not quite as fortunate, with Valabik already out of the lineup injured, Matt Lashoff stumbled and slammed into the boards very awkwardly mdiway through the third period, with Cory Konecny helping him in. Lashoff appeared to have an upper body injury, and did not return to the ice after needing time and assistance to get to the Rangers' bench. Matt Thomson was dressed for his first game, but did not get any ice time. Ryan Donally only has one more game on his playoff suspension to serve before he can return to the Rangers.