If you want to make a documentary on tired hockey players, and youíre looking for one to interview thatís fresh off a marathon of games, you might want to start with Kitchenerís Jakub Kindl. His weekend hasnít exactly gone according to plan. He played in Detroit on Thursday night and then traveled back to Kitchener on Friday night where he led a shorthanded blueline in ice time, one that spent nearly the entire second period with only 4 skaters (Gyenes had taken 19 minutes during one stoppage and Yannick Weber had gone down injured around the same time late in the first period). Unfortunately fatigue causes mistakes, and on Friday night Rangersí fans witnessed a few giveaways by the Rangersí veteran defender. And on Sunday there was another huge one that led to a two man breakaway for the Storm. Kindl did atone for his miscue in the third with a huge point blast which started up a very impressive third period for a Rangersí team that many had left for dead.
The Rangersí merry-go-round in goal continued
where it started, Mark Packwood got the start for the Rangers after the
team had cycled through three netminders in three games, they were right
back to the beginning. Matt Kennedy opened the scoring, he and another
Storm forward were at the top of the crease when a Ryan Pottruff point
shot came through and proceeded to bang in the rebound past Packwood who
was left helpless on the play. The Rangers were outshot quite heavily
during the first period and several times Mark Packwood had to come up
with some big stops, he did so and perhaps more importantly didnít allow
any nasty rebounds. Much like Lavigne, he may have been the victim
of some good luck at times and bad luck during others, on this afternoon.
One of the occasions where Packwood may have gotten lucky is in the third
period with the Rangers in full comeback mode, Jason Doig made a great
move on Packwood by with Packwood down and out, desperately reaching while
lying on the ice, Doig shot just wide at the side of the net. Matt
Halishcuk tied the score at one goal, when he ventured in shorthanded on
Jason Guy early in the second period.
It wasnít until late in the period when the Storm were able to take the lead again. Rafael Rotter scored on a power play after being set up by Jason Doig. Only minutes later Rafael Rotter scored another on a man advantage, this goal caused a temporary delay. As Rotter drove to the net, the puck glanced off of his skate blade and through the pads of an unsuspecting Mark Packwood. Goals have seemed to get the Rangers in bunches in Owen Sound and Guelph was similar. Less than two minutes after the Storm had taken a two-goal lead, the roof officially caved on the Rangersí bad interception off of the stick of Jakub Kindl, whom looked rather exhausted in that period of play. Jason Doig flew unharrassed into the zone, he had a trailer, but elected to bring the puck back and snap the puck into the top corner, popping the water bottle like a seasoned sniper. The shorthanded Rangersí blueline struggled, but one could only be impressed with the play of Tarasuk and especially Robert Bortuzzo. Bortuzzo, with the injuries on the backend has made the most of his opportunity with some of the regulars out. Heís making a statement to stay in the lineup when the Rangers have a full contingent of 8 healthy blueliners.
With the Rangers playing their third in two in a half days, the third period seemed like a formality, especially after seeing Julien Machabee, one of the Rangersí defenders who isnít exceptionally offensively gifted found his way onto the Rangersí power play. In the third period the Rangers had their chance. While already on the power play, Rafael Rotter got his stick up while battling along the boards with Nick Spaling. A lengthy two man opportunity presented itself and just as quickly it was reduced to a single-man advantage, Jakub Kindl found himself some time and space on the point and launched a rocket-like shot over Guyís blocker into the top corner of the net. The Rangers couldnít make good on the back end of power play, but did apply pressure throughout the third period. As DeBoer said they played with desperation, in the final period of what was a very difficult weekend. Later in the period Brian Soso took a cross-check to the mouth from Harry Young, Sosoís refusal to retaliate created a power play opportunity for the Rangers. Rather than the simple box set up, they elected to keep things moving and Victor Oreskovich found Mike Duco streaking to the net, and Duco one-timed a backhand past Jason Guy bringing the Rangers to within a goal. In the last 90 seconds, the Rangers called a timeout and pulled their netminder for the extra attacker. Mike McLean one of the Stormís overage forwards whoís always excelled at a defensive role found the empty net through a pair of Rangers from just inside the blueline to clinch the victory for the Storm. With that victory the Storm have taken 7 of their last 8 regular season meetings from the Rangers. Fortunately for the Rangers who finished strong, they did not incur any more injuries on the blueline in this matchup.