If you're name is Tyler Doig, there is one lesson that you've learned and may never forget, every second counts, there's no such thing as a formality. Doig, took his eyes off of the puck for maybe less than a second and that's all it took for Rangers' captian: Jean-Michel Rizk to score one of those hockey oddities, a goal from the faceoff dot with only one second on the clock. Jean-Michel Rizk who was seen laughing all of the way to the bench seemed to shrung off the goal as more of a fluke, but he deserves credit for making the attempt where others would have simply assumed the conclusion of the period. Naturally afterwards there was a review and for the second time in Kitchener this season, it was a review potentially nulifying a Rangers' goal. In the second game of the season, it was Victor Oreskovich who had an impressive forecheck, and scored on the Otters' vacated net, but had the goal revoked after a replay showed that the net was dislodged prior to the puck crossing the line. Rookie netminder Thomas McCollum was impressive in relief and never appeared to see the eventual winner, in his first start of the season in Windsor McCollum recorded his first career shutout, by a 6-0 margin over the Spitfires.
A loss to the winless Windsor Spitfires on
Friday night seemed to leave the Rangers without excuses, they had just
lost to the worst team in the OHL (statistically speaking) and it was obvious
that changes were required. It's not that the Rangers didn't have
a good effort on Friday night but, the end result was that the team didn't
play well enough to finish the Spitfires who relied primarily on the netminding
of Anthony Guadagnolo in order to survive the last two periods of the game.
The Rangers, as might have been expected came out of the gate flying.
It didn't take the Rangers long to get on the board, Nick Spaling scored
on a set up from Oreskovich. Minutes later while on the power play,
Victor Oreskovich struck himself. The Rangers were all over the Storm
and it was a case of the Storm probably being thankful that they were only
down a pair of goals at this point int he game. Not at all reflective
of the start of Jason Guy who did make some big stops but coach Dave Barr
didn't really wait around for things to get worse, he brought the rookie
directly into the hotspot and the team responded.
Jamie Arneil slapped in a feed from Michael Caruso on the man advnatage, and suddenly at the midway point of the period the Storm were back in business. The lead was nearly lost minutes later, part and parcel of clear cut Storm breakaway that John Murray thwarted with a handy glove save. Tyler Melancon, one of many promising rookies that the Storm have at their disposal knotted the score at two in the second period. The two teams appeared to be heading for the third period tied at 2-2, and many of the fans weren't even on their way to the exits they were actually in line for consessions when the puck was dropped with only a second left in the period deep in the Storm end. Captain J-M Rizk seized the opportunity when the puck was dropped launching a wrister through his counterpart in the faceoff circle and then finally beating McCollum who was at a loss after the play, clearly confused and perplexed as the puck found it's way to the back of the net. The Rangers didn't need a hometown clock operator to aid in this one, the puck clearly entered the puck less than one second after it touched the ice. Eventually they say things do even out, the Rangers were scored on late against the Spitfires costing them the game and this goal would eventually stand up as the winner as the Rangers took this game.
The biggest story was obviously the clock and the goal at 19:59 by Rizk, but equally important was a stat on one of the more distant clocks from centre ice. The Rangers sufficated the Storm allowing only 18 shots by the Storm, who dropped their third straight, while the hometown Rangers' ran up a respectable total of 35. It was far from a thrilling victory, but with the blueline so young, and at this time, so depleted the Rangers have to keep things simple and minimize risks and at least in the interm until some of their defenders return. Efforts by Jakub Kindl and Robert Bortuzzo stuck out the most. The Thanksgiving Day matchup has become a tradition in recent years, the Rangers took the all-time lead in the Turkey series 3-2 as a result of the win. The Rangers suffered an embarassing loss in 2005. Prior to the Monday matinee game, the Rangers had lost 7 of 8 to the Storm. The win against the rival Storm also breaks up an ugly 5 game losing streak and 7 game winless streak to the Storm that dates back into the 2004-'05 season.