Everyone loves nostalgia. Especially the Generals who's bus, and season's tickets are decorated celebrating a team history, one of the few teams in the OHL that is richer than that of the Kitchener Rangers. The history is great, but what's better is the present, the Rangers whom have enjoyed substantially more success than the Generals in recent years, chose not to celebrate one piece of team nostalgia. Generals' overage netminder represented that last piece of nostalgia. It is likely that he is the last ever member of the 2003 Memorial Cup champion: Kitchener Rangers who will ever step onto the ice at the Memorial Auditorium as an active OHL player. His visit did not last very long in what was the third edition of "abandon Carlo night" the Rangers' have scored 21 goals in the last three visits by the Generals. The last visit prior to those 3, the man that DiRienzo was traded to acquire: Dan Turple permitted only 2 goals in a first star effort that probably created the interest in Turple to start with. The Generals have broken the hearts of many Rangers' fans over the years late in the postseason, most notably in 1990 when the Rangers were defeated in 7 games in the OHL finals and more recently in 1997 when the Generals elminated the Rangers in 6 games during the league semi-finals.
Much like the Rangers victory over the Erie
Otters earlier in the season, the Rangers really jumped out to a quick
start via the powerplay. Coincidentally, the Generals had just faced
the Otters and lost in overtime, but it was the same scenario. The
Rangers who haven't had luck around the net of late, simply exploded around
the net against the Generals. The Rangers started the first period
with three man advantages each of them ending early with a power play goal.
The first of those three goals took place only 48 seconds into the first
period. Matt Halischuk, the hot hand of late, got a lucky bounce
off of Kevin Henderson after a Yannick Weber point shot, and the Rangers
led early. Spaling nearly scored seconds into the next power play,
but it was Oreskovich who found some room with a bad angle goal.
The third power play came on a delay of game penalty by captain and former
Otter Eric Regan. It took the Rangers nearly the full two minutes
to score this time around, but Matt Halischuk had his second goal of the
first period again far, far too many rebounds unprotected against by the
Oshawa Generals. DiRienzo's afternoon in goal would end only after
another 1:14 when Kevin Henderson, the hard-luck Rangers' overage scored
picking up a nice feed from Oreskovich from behind the net. On his
way off of the ice, DiRienzo smashed his stick on the glass in frustration.
Rookie Anthony Peters came into the goal and for the moment the change
seemed to spark the Generals.
It appeared that the Generals would try to mount a comeback in the first shortly after the Rangers had taken the dominating 4-0 lead. Last season's super-rookie and 2008 NHL draft favourite John Tavares managed to deflect in a point shot while on the power play. 36 seconds later, the Generals added another goal, and it appeared that the Generals might make a game of it. John Murray was victim of what may have been a double deflection, first the puck deflected off of Brett Parnham and then inadvertantly off of the stick of Dan Kelly, past a surprised John Murray and into the net, but it was at that point that both teams really started to settle a little, as both teams with seemingly a potentially close game at hand seemed to play a more defense first style of play. Early in the second period the Rangers' broke the game open. Nick Spaling rushed in to make the score 5-2 only 12 seconds into the frame and Jean-Michel Rizk (with his second in two games) and Jakub Kindl gave the Rangers' a 5-goal cushion with back-to-back goals around the midpoint of the second period. What was lost in the second period of a blowout game was the play of John Murray, the Generals took 19 shots during the second period, which equated to zero goals. John Murray's play wasn't missed by those who name the three stars, he was the third star in a strong effort for the Rangers.
Characteristically, as amny blowout games do, this one got rough. Midway through the second period, Brian Soso and James DeLory had what appeared to be a very pre-meditated tussle at centre ice. DeLory, a third-year defenceman for the Oshawa Generals elected to line up well inside the blueline towards Soso. Unfortuantely for Rangers' fans, Soso did not fair overly well. In the third period there was only one thing left to complete for the Rangers and that was a second trick for Matt Halischuk in three games. His arm was held back when he entered the Oshawa zone on a breakaway. After a brief delay allowing the Generals to touch the puck, the official pointed to centre ice, signalling a penalty shot. Halischuk made little mistake, and the Rangers had finished their scoring and their top goal scorer had 8 goals in his last 3 games, and 12 goals over the 12 games this season for the Rangers. Nick Spaling, who really had a breakout two-way effort for the Rangers, accumulating 3 points was the games' number one star. The victory was the Rangers' 5th straight over Oshawa, the next time the Rangers meet the Oshawa Generals, it'll be at their new arena, with a new look jersey as well, the logo on the new jersey is currently on the helmet's of both Carlo DiRienzo and Anthony Peters.