Who's the hottest road team in the OHL? Answer: Kitchener. Who's the hottest home team in the OHL? Answer: Windsor. End result? Something had to give, during the Rangers' previous visit, it was the Rangers' strong road record that took a beating as the Rangers' lost a devastating 1-0 decision on a last minute goal by the Spitfires. This matchup it was the Spitfires' franchise record home winning streak that tookt he hit. The winning blow was dealt by Cory Konecny, who's goal when the Spitfire's were caught on a bad line change, stood up through the third period as the winner. This Windsor home ice winning streak was something for the ages. During their run that look the team quite litterally from the OHL's basement to a dog fight for first in their divison. To put the Rangers' road record into perspective, the Rangers have the best road record in the league, they actually have more points on the road than they do on home ice in an equal 30 games. The Rangers have less than half as many regulation road losses than any West division team does. Most recently, since dropping that decision in Windsor earlier in the calendar year, the Rangers are on an 8-1 run on the road, and have only permitted 15 goals against during their last 10 games.
The Windsor Spitfires home winning streak,
that the Rangers, and more specifically the Rangers' netminder Dan Turple
helped snap had a life of it's own. The aside from being a meager
two games from accounting for half of their entire schedule on home ice,
the Spitfires during their run had found a way to defeat each and every
Western Conference rival in the process, and naturally that includes the
powerhouse London Knights, who on the same night that the Rangers terminated
the Spitfires' winning streak, the Knights' also broke a streak of their
own. Since October, the Peterborough Petes have been the class of
the league, and for the first time, the Knights overtook the boys from
the liftlock city and took over first place overall in the OHL with a strong
road effort. Along with the promise of new ownership at season's
end, and simply the promise that the Spitfires have shown of late, the
attendance has shown an increase, this night over 3,000 individuals packed
the mad house on MacDougald, hoping for a thrilling matchup as their last
head-to-head battle with the Rangers' was.
In their last head-to-head battle, despite the low score, the teams played a tight, but often thrilling matchup. Stealing the show from two red-hot teams were the netminders on the respective sides. This matchup wouldn't be any different, last visit to Windsor, Dan Turple was sensational and it seemed to be just a shame that the big Rangers' netminder left the game with little but the satisfaction of only allowing one goal, which is little consolation when the teams drops a 1-0 decision, especially when there was only seconds left until the Rangers could head to overtime and claim at least a point in the effort. Guadagnolo, the former 67's netminder perhaps outshone his Kitchener counterpart, on this night Turple would return the favour. Dan Turple is the oldest player in the OHL with a birthdate of January 1st, since turning 21, Turple has been the single most dominant netminder in the OHL. Earlier in the week, Turple was named OHL netminder of the month for the second straight month; in this game he proved why. Two stops in particular stuck out. He robbed Patrick Davis in the second period with the game tied lunging over with his blocker, later in the period he came up with a spectacular toe stop, something he excercised in each of the three periods en route to a first star performance.
The Rangers took the early lead halfway through the first period when Mike Duco found some room shortside, shortly after the puck was dropped in the Spitfires' zone. The Rangers couldn't hold on to the lead though, something that they have had some success with recently. When the Spitfires took to the power play, Keaton Turkiewicz found a loose puck and flipped it past Turple, it was a rare defensively lapse as Turkiewicz, and Sciacca were left all alone at the side of the net. During the first period, the Rangers and Spitfires both had man-advantages that lasted over a minute in length, neither team scored. The Rangers failed to score during each of their 4 power play chances. Late in the second period, Cory Konecny caught the Spitfires off guard during a line change, he broke in two-on-one and roofed a wrist shot on Guadagnolo. During the later stages of the third period the Rangers hardly gave the Spitfires a sniff of the net, and managed to cling to their 2-1 lead. The win for the Rangers was the team's first in Windsor in just over 4 years. The Rangers had to work without the services of Boris Valabik who was suspended for an incident involving Theo Peckham, he has one game remaining on that three game suspension.