New guy scored the winner. It's a phenomina similar to that of young men who have the last name Cambpell most of the time the elder son gets the nickname 'soupy' and Victor Oreskovich, the guy who's name isn't overly difficult to say or spell but not the easiest to remember is being refered to almost everywhere as: "new guy." And if there's one way to quite litterally to make a name for yourself it's by scoring the biggest goal of the season thus far. Oreskovich, who left the fighting Irish in favour of trying his hand at the OHL is showing and showcasing exactly why an NHL team (in this instance Colorado) may have chosen to select Oreskovich in the 2nd round over McGrath who was taken in the 3rd round by Detroit. Oreskovich, struggled with both ice time and scoring in the NCAA ranks, but in his brief 3-game OHL career thus far, he has managed a goal in each of his games, though in this one he sure took his time scoring with only 25 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Rangers surprised many when they arrived on the ice for the pre-game skate without giant defender: Boris Valabik, apparently had sore knuckles from his recent fight with Gino Pisellini, a shoulder injury was also mentioned. The Rangers' sorely missed their big stay at home defender on the ice and especially in the defensive zone. But fortunately they did have one gigantic player left in reserve. That guy's name is Dan Turple and Dan Turple really proved his worth during the third period where he repeatedly made spectacular save after save keeping the Rangers constantly within a goal of tying the Knights.
The scene that was set was similar to that
of last year's teddy bear game in terms of hype, perhaps not quite as legendary
in terms of the record-breaking streak that the Knights had embarked the
season on and brought into Kitchener. Still, with their top netminder
back in the fold losses for the Knights were few and far inbetween, infact
with the recent slide that the Petes have endured the Knights were able
to claim 1st place overall in the OHL. Last season it was also London
on teddy bear night and the Knights spoiled the party, they struck twice
before Duco was able to initiate a rain of bears onto the ice, and then
held off a late surge by the Rangers to tie the CHL record for games unbeaten
to start a season.
Much like two years ago, when Jesse Boucher scored, several players had their hand in scoring the infamous teddy bear goal. Justin Azevedo put the puck infront of the net where David Lomas tried to pull the puck around Adam Dennis and ran out of reach, Yves Bastien jumped on the loose puck and put it into the goal just as Lomas was preparing to dive and also score the sure goal. Bastien's effort prompted yet another record rain of teddy bears onto the ice. 5,472 of them to be exact from the just under 6,000 weekday Rangers' fans who were as always glad to be a part of the festivities. Clean up went relatively smoothly as always and even the officials pitched in to help with the effort along with youngsters from Kitchener minor hockey. Recent Knights' acquisition: David Jarram, who's actually been of the youngsters who has been out there picking up the bears.
The Knights made their reply on the Rangers' teddy bear goal later in the period Sergei Kotitsyn made set up Rob Schremp all alone infront of the Rangers' net and Schremped tied the game. The Rangers in the second period found themselves down two men, they were fortunate enough to kill the first of the two penalties, but Rob Schremp struck again during the second minor. He received a cross-ice pass and zipped the puck under the crossbar with a wicked wrist shot that caught Turple off guard, as he was moving from side to side of the net. Immediately after the goal on the ensuing faceoff Josh Beaulieu and Cory Konecny proceeded to drop the gloves and Konecny delighted the sell-out crowd by getting some parting shots in and the takedown to end the scarp which was pretty much a draw between the two rugged wingers.
The third period, or at least the first half of it was simply dominated by the Knights, the Rangers had had a lengthy two-man advantage later in the second period with which to work and lost momentum as a result of not scoring. Give the Knights credit for shutting down a red hot Rangers power play that has 21 goals over it's last 6 games. Where credit was ultimately due was the Rangers' netminder. Turple made some huge stops keeping the Rangers in the game, including one spectacular glove stop while sprawling on his way down. Cue, the comeback. It wasn't something obvious, Matt Lashoff stepped into the zone with some speed and put a shot on goal that handcuffed Dennis, it trickled over the line and disrupted what was an otherwise fine performance by the overaged netminder. Even later in the period the Rangers received a golden opportunity on the power play with Adam Perry in the box, the Rangers failed to score, but just after the expiration of that penalty Martinelli hit Duco into the boards from behind. Duco and others faught for the puck on the delayed call and eventually the puck found it's way to the point and then Victor Oreskovich got his stick on it twice capturing his own rebound using his foot speed and scored the huge game winner with only 25 seconds left.