It was the darkest night in recent Kitchener Rangers' history. It started with a rush into the Storm end of the ice, it appeared as if Mike Duco was hauled down on his way around the net, and that's where the game began to degenerate. The feisty Rangers' winger got up dusted the snow off of himself and glared at official Sean Reid with completely disbelief in his eyes as Reid motioned Duco along with Parent to the penalty box assessing the Rangers' 2nd such penalty of the game. As he got to his feet enraged, Duco smashed his stick into the boards in disgust, it was only 4-2, but with the automatic 10-minute misconduct he'd receieved automatically with the minor, his night was all but done regardless of whether the game went to overtime or not. With many of the capacity crowd of nearly 6,000 already standing on their feet shouting at the on ice officials. The majority of those in attendance feeling as if their tolerance levels to incompetent officiating was simply being tested. Rangers' head coach Peter DeBoer with the power plays at that point severely favouring the Guelph Storm, kept his team on the bench refusing to send players onto the ice.
With the game being delayed without any Ranger
pressence on the ice, and a booming chant of "We Wanna Ref!" circling the
Auditorium fans hit their boiling point when the Rangers' bench was assessed
a bench minor, their 2nd of the game. Debris, garbage and frisbees
started sailing onto the ice as fans continued to protest chanting at officials,
booing, and in disgust Peter DeBoer actually left the Rangers' bench without
being ejected from the game by the officiating. Two wrongs do not
make a right. While it was a travesty and embarassement that Rangers'
fans littered the ice with debris during the stopage, the performance by
those who were responsible for officiating this matchup couldn't have had
their performances described by any more accurate a word, they turned the
game into a travesty and should be reprimanded by the league for doing
so. So great was the amount of debris on the ice, that it caused
considerable delay to the game as it was first collected by arena staff
and then it was demanded that they scrap the ice to ensure that there was
not anything remaining which might lead to an injury.
Despite the fact that most of the plot of this game as it unfolded revolved around a mid-third period incident where fans' tempers boiled over at officiating there was a game to be played on the ice, and going in the Rangers sought to snap a rather ugly 5 game losing streak to their rivals the Guelph Storm. After winning the first of eight matchups the Rangers have gone on to discover methods inwhich to lose each of the next 5, and now six games against the Storm. Things didn't look so unpromising to start the game, even the officiating. Yves Bastien took a shorthanded breakaway and rather than trying to swing past the netminder stickhandling, snuck the puck directly under the arms of MacDonald who appeared poised to stop the deke - something that Bastien is getting a reputation for. Minutes later Callahan, the Ranger-killer of late, scored to even the score for the Storm. His goal wasn't a pretty one as the puck appeared to deflect off of his body as he rushed to the net - it counted and should have. Mark O'Leary then turned the tables on the Rangers, only 10 seconds into a penalty kill, he stormed up the ice and beat Turple glove side with a shot while on a breakaway of his own. It really became apparent that the Storm's dominance over the Rangers would continue when Callahan extended the lead to 3-1 later in the first.
The Rangers tried everything in the box during the second period, but couldn't really get things into gear. They spent more than half of the period killing penalties, and only recieved a couple of power play minutes of their own. Playing their third game in three night the Rangers cranked up the intensity, and started landing some heavy checks, their penalty killing prowess and efforts would soon pay off and Mike Duco finally beat MacDonald giving the Rangers' hope bringing them back to within one goal of tying the game. The game officially degenerated in the third period, several cheap shot hits and the like were landed by either team and unfortunately despite having two officials neither appeared competent enough to call any of the original infractions instead electing to call the retaliatory instigator minors. Brandon Biggers broke the Rangers' backs when he beat Dan Turple's poke check, restoring the Storm's two goal lead, it was an even strength goal, at one of the rare points in the third period where the Rangers were not in the box killing penalties. The Storm added a pair of power play goals after the lengthy delay to claim a 6-2 victory. Rafeal Rotter did not dress for the Storm and veteran defender: Boris Valabik did not play for the Rangers. Dan Gyenes was out of the lineup because he was part of a second fight after a whistle on the previous night. Jean-Michel Rizk took several shifts playing defense, he also received a pair of ten minute misconducts. Matt Lashoff was involving in two fights, his first two of the season, he dropped his gloves with Ryan Callahan and Michael Caruso.