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Rangers deserved better fate

Mark Packwood looks back into his net, as Craig Voakes' shootout winner flies into the top of the net.

Windsor has never been a friendly place for the Rangers, amongst the Rangers failures in Windsor of recent years include a one-game playoff loss in double overtime that prevented the Rangers from entering the post-season, even during the 2002-2003 season where the Rangers were the national champions, they still couldn't take a victory out of Windsor with them, not even a single point.  After the winless Spitfires waltzed into Kitchener and ran away with two points after a goal with only 16 seconds left in regulation, devastating the Rangers.  This game, wasn't much much different in terms of actual results, another crippling loss for the Rangers.  Though one could not fault the Rangers effort, one that was stepped up incredibly from their loss in Kitchener, the Rangers dominated and came away with only the single-point for the shootout loss.  For the Spitfires, they made a couple of lineup changes that were more league mandated than anything else, Bradley Snetsinger rejoined the Spitfires after his 5 game suspension had concluded for a match penalty that was taken against the Storm.  Meanwhile Nolan was removed from the Spitfires lineup after receiving a suspension for a fighting incident against the London Knights on the past Sunday.

The Rangers with the confidence gained in their victory over the Storm and with some vengence in mind for the way that the Spitfires beat them in Kitchener only 6 days earlier.  The result: the Rangers came onto the ice flying.  They launched a barrage of shots at Anthony Guadagnolo who at times had to stand on his head to keep the game scoreless.  In the first half of the first period the Rangers launched 13 unanswered shots at the Spitfires' netminder.  But at the conclusion of this onslaught, it was the Spitfires that found the back of the net.  Fortunately for the Rangers' Ryan Carroll, the lone official during in this rare occurance was right on the money and in position to see that the puck was clearly knocked in with a high-stick.  The Rangers weren't really bothered by the occurance and forged on, by period's end they had a 21-6 shooting advantage and were really causing havoc in the Spitfires' end, Windsor had tremendous trouble in clearing the puck.  The Rangers finally opened up the scoring with a power play marker by Victor Oreskovich early in the second period, he combined with Spaling and Duco for the tally, that unit was easily the Rangers' most effective on this night, their relentless forecheck caused chaos and for hte most part their shifts were very effective.

Brian Soso tussles with Richard Greenop, in a return bout from their scrap in Kitchener, Soso also scored his first goal as a Ranger.

The game marked the return of one former Spitfire, and two other Spitfires' draft picks.  Brian Soso returned to Windsor to a chorus of boos most of the time he was on the ice, he somewhat silenced fans when he found the back of the net via a centering pass gone wrong off of the back of Anthony Guadagnolo's leg and into the net.  For Soso it was his first goal as a member of the Kitchener Rangers.  In the third period he nearly added to those totals, hitting the side of the crease in stride, the puck found it's way to Soso, who put a one-timer like chip shot, but Anthony Guadagnolo had the answer for that, like he did for many of the opportunities by Rangers' shooters who simply weren't proficient enough, though the effort was there.  Soon after his goal, an anticipated rematch took place between heavyweight rookie: Richard Greenop and Brian Soso.  This fight was far longer and more entertaining than the one that preceded it in Kitchener, we'll call that round one, where Greenop got Soso off of his feet quickly.  In this battle the veteran, Soso tired the rookie, who held on in the end of what was a very evenly matched bout.  After spending two seasons in Windsor Soso attempted to enter the incorrect penalty box, venturing into the homeside Windsor Spitfires sin bin.

But, things rarely go right for struggling teams.  In this instance the Rangers were the hardluck team, and things found a way of turning on Kitchener.  Despite putting only 17 shots on the Rangers net through regulation, the Windsor Spitfires somehow managed to knot the score at two.  Greg Nemisz's slow wrister found its way past Packwood, who might have been starved for action at the time.  There were long periods of play when the puck didn't even find it's way into the Rangers' end of the ice.  Midway through the period, the Spitfires had a power play and a shot first deflected off Brad Snetsinger and then rebounded off of the post past Packwood and into the back of the net.  Suddenly after 40 minutes of dominance the Rangers were only even with the Spitfires.  Overtime solved nothing and for the second time on the road this season the Rangers encountered a shootout.  Matt Auffrey who has two of the three all-time Rangers' shootout goals led off, his five-hole attempt was blocked by Guadagnolo, Brad Snetsinger who was credited with the tying goal was up next, he fired a shot that handcuffed Packwood and eventually dropped over the line.  Justin Azevedo failed to score, before Craig Voakes (the owner of the only other Rangers' shooout goal in team history), Voakes as he did when he scored his only goal as a Ranger during a shootout, Voakes finished off the Rangers on only two shooters with a wrister that beat Packwood.  No mystery as to who was first star, Anthony Guadagnolo was amazing at times, and one of the only things keep the Spitfires in this game and avoiding a complete blowout.