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DiRienzo nearly haunts former teammates
 


Kevin Henderson attempts to come out from behind the Generals' net.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com


Apparently it was a start that Carlo DiRienzo requested from his coach Randy Ladouceur, that request was answered and in return Carlo DiRienzo answered between the pipes for the Oshawa Generals.  It wasn't a win but for DiRienzo who was the victim of a blow-out game in his return to Kitchener, it had to be an emotional victory as he repeatedly turned his former teammates best scoring chances aside, and while doing so also controlled his rebounds in the Oshawa net.  There may have been a similar scenario for Dan Turple, the overage Rangers' netminder, he may have not requested the start specially from Rangers' head coach Peter DeBoer but there's no question that Turple would have relished one last opportunity to play in Oshawa where he quickly became a star netminder and carried the Generals at times during the 2004-2005 season.  With the Generals last in the 20 team Ontario Hockey League, and soon to be nearing mathematical eliminated, rest assured there will not be another opportunity for Dan Turple to play in the Civic Centre nor Oshawa at all in the future as a junior player.  The remainder of the Rangers could be in the same boat, unless schedule makers allow them to sneak into Oshawa for a quick visit early next season prior to the team finally packing up and moving closer into the city core.

If Wednesday's 'snooze-fest' in Mississauga where the Rangers encountered the 9th placed IceDogs was any indication, this game should have been anything but exciting against the Generals who sit 10th in the East and dead last in the league.  Anything but the truth in this matchup the Rangers and Generals entertained from start-to-finish in a game that at times took the appearance of a goaltending clinic starting Carlo DiRienzo and Dan Turple who were both out to prove that their teams got the long end of the stick when they were swapped in early November of 2004.  With neither netminder yield so much as an inch to the opposing team, neither could back their claim based on this matchup alone.  The only conclusions that one could draw were that the teams did appear to have the more talented team, and it's very conceivable that both teams should have scored many more goals with some better bounces and even better-than-average netminding which simply wasn't the case as both netminders brought their playoff games to the forefront in this game.  The Rangers weren't shy about testing their former netminder early in this game, they tested him plenty in his return to Kitchener bulging the twine eight times in an 8-5 victory over the Generals near this time last season.  The golden opportunity presented itself when the Rangers picked up a two-man advantage in the first couple minutes of action, but despite pressure and quality chances failed to best their former netminder.
 



DiRienzo accidentally run over in the third and loses his blocker.
Picture Courtesy of: OHLPhotos.com

The Rangers only scored when a power play opportunity presented itself midway through the period, Evan McGrath used the Generals defenders as a screen and whipped a wrist shoot through DiRienzo.  The Rangers power play after failing to score early in the game, seemed to struggle with this opportunity, Dale Mitchell and John Tavares both threatened for shorthanded breaks and Rangers defenders only recovered as both forwards were ready to cross the Rangers' blueline.  In the second period circus saves were the theme, at one end Carlo DiRienzo was kicking out his legs in either direction deflecting shots away from the goal at the obsolute last second.  At the other end of the ice it was Turple with a hot glove hand, at one point after diving across the net Turple took what appeared to be a sure goal away with a backhanded stop.  In the second period the Generals started with a pair of two man advantages and after 5 consecutive Rangers' penalties to start the period only got a repreive when the Generals took an infraction of their own, seconds later another penalty gave the Rangers a two-man advantage and a golden opportunity to open up a two-goal lead, instead the exact opposite happened, as with several poor breakouts the Generals finally made the Rangers' pay and took the puck down the ice, John Tavares put a rocket wrister past Turple with Azevedo in pursuit right diving in desperation.

Jakub Kindl restored the slim one goal lead early in the third period he burst into the zone skating hard with the puck, jumped around several players before lifting a wrist shot into the top corner for his career-best 10 goals.  It wasn't that the Generals didn't have opportunities from that point on, it was that the Rangers had even better chances and neither team was able to score.  Dan Turple made a surprise glove stop after the puck emerged from behind the net at an inopportune time, but from then on in the Rangers really drew together for a strong defensive push that only looked stronger when they went down a man late in the game in all the Rangers kill all ten Generals power plays.  When DiRienzo finally left the net, the Generals top unit was out of energy and Jean-Michel Rizk engineered the puck up the boards and onto the stick of Evan McGrath.  Despite 4 two-man advantages, neither team was able to score with the extra two attackers.  The game ended on an ugly note with Lucas LaBelle throwing a flying elbow at Cory Konecny's head infront of the Generals' bench which caused a brawl to breakout just as time expired.