Only three days after allowing a season-high 5 goals the Rangers left to the liftlock city, the result another 5-spot on Rangers' netminding. With top-flight defender: Matt Lashoff continues to be out of the Rangers' lineup leaving a gapping hole on the Rangers' blueline, perhaps of more immediate relevence to the Rangers: is the health of netminder: Dan Turple. On some nights, Turple has been rather super-human between the pipes for the red, white & blue and while there wasn't much to criticize about Packwood's start, the more experienced and in general larger Turple would have been a comforting sight for a team that legitimately seems to believe that it can win virtually any game Turple starts. Unfortunately the Petes are not exactly an ideal team for Mark Packwood to face in his first start of the season. They had more than 200 returning goals, more than any team in the OHL, and entering the game had more goals scored than any other Eastern Conference team. To start the game several members of the Rangers' executive: Steve Bienkowski and Kevin Casey made a presentation to the Peterborough Petes organization to commemorate their 50th anniversary. The Petes all season thus far have been wearing a new 50th anniversary jersey to all home games, which is quite the deviation from the traditional but extremely flavourful mono-colour: maroon and white. The gift that the Rangers' team presented was crystal with the Petes' 50th anniversary logo etched in, and the presentation drew a hearty round of applause from the 3,209 in attendance and an impromptu standing ovation, the Rangers wouldn't be overly popular with Petes fans once the game got underway.
The Rangers and Petes got off to a skating
start, but neither team was able to mount any pressure in the offensive
zones, or maintain any possession time with the puck once in the zone.
Both the Rangers and the Petes were skating up a storm in the neutral zone
and the first 10 minutes flew by as both teams obviously talented skating
teams, traded passes as well as some thundering hits. The Rangers
really struggled as the did late in their matinee matchup with the Storm
in getting pressure down low on the goal, all of the Rangers' shots were
coming from the perimeter and they were simply unable to get to rebounds
or put shots on goal that would result in quality scoring opportunities.
David Shantz also exhibited some strong rebound control aiding the Petes'
cause. At the opposite end of the ice, the Petes, perhaps an offensive
juggernaut in the making, were turning their top three lines all of which
have been producing rather routinely this season. The Petes struck
on their first powerplay, with Justin Azevedo already in the box, Valabik
took a slashing minor only 33 seconds later leading to an extended two-man
advantage. Liam Reddox was first to get to a Jamie Tardif rebound
infront of Packwood tossing the puck over the goal line to open the scoring
in what was a first period that was not overly filled with scoring opportunities
for either team. The Rangers were receipients of several powerplay
opportunities, but could not connect, or really generate much in the way
of chances, Rangers' blueliners struggled yet again on this night.
Early in the second period while on the powerplay, Jakub Kindl the last man out of the zone placed a tape-to-tape pass on to the stick of Liam Reddox, Reddox came into the zone 2-on-1 and blasted the puck on Packwood, no one could find the rebound, save Daniel Ryder who quickly wristed the puck into the top half of the net with Mark Packwood still trying to determine where the puck went. At the midway point of the second period the Petes again found themselves up two men for over one minute of time, this time it was Trevor Hendrikx who stepped into a point shot after advancing near the top of the circle beating Packwood who was partially screened on the play high on the blocker side. For Hendrikx who just recently returned to the OHL from the ranks of the AHL, it was his first goal of the season. Donally who's been a one-man penalty minute collection agency for the Rangers dropped the gloves going toe-to-toe with Justin Caruana in the second, the fight appeared to be a mismatch as Donally started raining blows on the back of Caruana's head essentially outmuscling the sophomore Petes forward, while drawing the instigator penalty.
In the third period things rapidly went in the wrong direction for the Rangers. With the team already down a man, and killing a penalty, Yves Bastien was blasted into the boards from behind by Patrick Kaleta. With Bastien obviously shaken on the play, Jean-Michel Rizk took exception dropping the gloves with Kaleta before Kaleta knew what hit him, unfortuantely Rizk would lose his balance and in the opinion of many of the partisan fans in Peterborough also lost the fight. With yet another extended two-man advantage looming with the instigator to Rizk, DeBoer refused to send players on to the ice demanding an explaination for the lack of a call from Pearce on the hit, which was clearly seen by the official. Jamie Tardif the fifth year veteran took a back-door pass from yet another fifth year veteran Trevor Hendrikx early in the power play. Only 11 seconds later Peter Aston's rather soft point shot found it's way through Packwood. From that point on there were many bronx cheers from the hometown crowd directed at the rookie Rangers' netminder, but his performance highlights were after the 5th goal. Packwood stopped Jordan Morrison on a breakaway and then proceeded to best Daniel Ryder who made a very good move on a clear breakaway of his own robbing the Petes' sniper with a toe stop.
Evan McGrath broke up the shutout bid after taking a Duco pass while on the powerplay awaiting a delayed penalty, McGrath changed direction leaving David Shantz still sliding in the wrong direction, simply placing the puck in the empty net. For Shantz it was the second time this season, that his shutout bid had been broken up in the third on home ice, both final scores of 5-1. For the Petes it was their first home ice victory against the Rangers in 4 seasons, including a 2-0 shutout by Dan Turple in the liftlock city last season. A rather large brawl took place as time was about to expire in and around the Rangers' net area. Both Bryan Young and Patrick Kaleta were a constant concern for any Rangers' with their heads down, taking any and all opportunities to level Rangers with big open ice hits.