Count 'em up Rangers, that's 8 season-series sweeps on the year. Barrie, Brampton, Mississauga, Sudbury, Oshawa, and Ottawa (all two game season series, a four-gamer against Sarnia, and most impressive of all was their six-game season series sweep over the Owen Sound Attack which has just been completed. In 2002-2003 the Rangers took all eight games in their season-series with the Erie, during those 8 games they did manage to contribute one point to the Otters in an overtime victory. The Otters also finished out of the postseason, the Attack of 2005-'06, are hardly a team to sneeze at, the Rangers have also taken 12 points from them while leaving the Attack with nothing to show for 6 head-to-head matchups with the Rangers. History repeated itself in the fact that for the second straight night the Rangers scored the opening goal but had it disallowed, this time it was a hand pass on a puck which had deflected into the air, after quickly disputing the call, the game simply continued for the Rangers. The disputes with the officiating seemed never ending in this matchup.
Owen Sound actually got on the board first,
immediately after Derek Brochu had taken a minor penalty to prematurely
end an Attack power play, the teams found themselves playing 4-on-4.
Theo Peckham burst into the zone along the boards and stretched around
Turple scoring his career-high 6th goal, with an assist to Joshua Bailey
who won the faceoff. Matt Auffrey, who's held the hot hand on the
power play of late for the Rangers, scoring each of their last three power
play goals, managed to bang in an easy rebound just less than a minute
after the Attack had opened the scoring. Jakub Kindl blasted a point
shot from the center of the blueline, Michael Ouzas, whom the Rangers'
were seeing for the first time this season, made the original stop but
kicked out a healthy rebound that was first touched by Lomas and then Auffrey
who batted the puck into the empty side of the net.
One heavyweight tilt that many OHL fans anticipated was the recognized champ Boris Valabik vs. Theo Peckham, with only one chance left at a battle, and the score tied at on each, Valabik challenged the stocky Attack defender. Not much pre-fight hype, and it turned out to be an extremely one-sided battle with Valabik raining blows into the head of Peckham who started to duck for cover about halfway through the beating. The Rangers started the second period with the power play but an ugly trend quickly developed for the Rangers, 6 consecutive Rangers' penalties including 4 that overlapped, Rangers' head coach Peter DeBoer was livid with the officials, more about things that the Attack appeared to be getting away with while on the power play than some of the calls that went against the Rangers. Despite the Rangers having 12 minutes in penalties and the Attack taking none, the Rangers outshot the Attack by a 16-5 margin and had a number of shorthanded opportunities, including breakaways by Kevin Henderson, Justin Azevedo and a trip on a Yves Bastien break resulting in a penalty shot where Bastien again failed to score.
The third period was extremely eventful, things got on their way with a thunder hit on Bastien at center ice by Theo Peckham, Valabik went after the rugged Attack defender and revenge was not sweet as Valabik was assessed a match penalty for attacking Peckham. To compound problems the Rangers also took a costly bench minor, that resulted in a full two minute, two man advantage for the Attack. After the two man advantage expired, Mike Angelidis took a hooking minor, creating another 4-on-4. David Lomas and Craig Voakes took a 2-on-1 after a bad bounce for the Attack, Voakes used Lomas as a decoy before wiring the puck under the crossbar with a wicked slapshot giving the Rangers their first lead. But after Angeledis' penalty expired, the Rangers still had to kill just one more segment of power play. Finally the Rangers' penalty kill streak which had reached 41 consecutive kills, was broken. Bob Sanguinetti was denied on his first shot, but was able to step in after Azevedo blocked his shot and put a wrister through Turple to tie the game at two. Only 66 seconds later Evan McGrath would feed Matt Auffrey who simply redirected the puck through the pads of Ouzas again giving the Rangers a lead. For the third straight game the connection of Auffrey and McGrath had the winning goal for he Rangers. The Attack down a man late elected to pull their netminder, with Rizk poised to cross center with a shot at the empty net Ryan pulled the Rangers' forward down, he only delayed the inevitable as the Attack would eventually pull their netminder again and be scored upon by Cory Konecny.