In the words of the infamous Elaine on Seinfield, "the Petes arrived late, and yadda yadda yadda - 68 shots later they were done with a 7-1 blowout in Kitchener. Not to say that the fates have not conspired against the Petes' of late, their captain got himself suspended, and the Petes have not had near the fortune that the Rangers have enjoyed in terms of having some of their players returned, the Rangers only had 2 returning overagers, versus the Rangers who had 5 and were able to receive a bounty in trading Craig Voakes to the Windsor Spitfires, and Matt Auffrey to the Brampton Battalion. Worse yet, Jordan Staal with two full years of junior eligability remaining is still with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. Gone are the likes of: Liam Reddox, Jordan Morrison, Lubomir Stach, Bryan Young, Trevor Hendrikx, Aaron Dawson, Patrick Kaleta, David Shantz, Jamie Tardif, Fredrick Naslund, Jordan Staal and Waterloo native Greg Stewart. In a somewhat surprising move the Petes named Steve Downie as team captain, he was a late returnee to the team. It wasn't a quesiton of heart, skill or commitment, it's simply that Downie has a reputation for a lack of self-control at times. That enthusiasm unfortunately netted Downie a suspension for his comments to officials from the bench. Just when the decision to make him team captain comes into question, the Petes are quite litterally lifeless in a pair of losses to the Greyhounds (3-0) and an even worse humiliation to the Rangers (7-1).
It was an odd night for everyone involved,
from suddenly turned sniper Kevin Henderson, to the fans, and especially
the Petes. The Petes left Peterborough with plenty of time to spare
however, a rolled over truck on the westbound lanes of the 401, put a snag
into just about everyone's plans. The Petes, barely arrived at the
Aud in time for the 7:30 start time, and a decision was made to allow the
road weary Petes to get a quick pre-game skate in, delaying the start of
the game until 7:50, a hospitable gesture by the Rangers, who received
similar in Erie late last season when they arrived put participated in
the pre-game skate with the officials arriving late. At the conclusion
at the game it was questionable as to whether it was worth waiting for.
The Petes were lifeless and faced an evacuation like exodus from the Peterborough
Memorial Centre, while dropping a 3-0 decision to the Sault Ste. Marie
Greyhounds. The last time that the Petes' had been shutout on home
ice was January 27th, of 2005 when Dan Turple and the Rangers brought their
travelling road show into Peterborough for a 2-0 victory. As bad
as their loss was to the Greyhounds, their loss in Kitchener was even worse.
The Rangers fired a grand total of 68 shots on the young Petes' netminders
including 26 in the first period, it took them some time to beat Jason
Missiaen, but when they did it was all downhill from there.
The Petes started off just the way that they had finished against the Soo Greyhounds, they were kind of in a haze to start the game, the Rangers registered 15 shots before reaching the halfway point of the first period, but somehow through the first 18 minutes the game remained scoreless. It wasn't inexplicable, and there was a good reason. A big lanky 16-year-old netminder by the name of Jason Missaen, who held the Petes in the game in the early going. After having his first ever OHL start interrupted by a hand injury while playing with Tier II club a few weeks' back Missaen finally got his start. His only other play was a clean-up job in Mississauga two weekends ago where he absorbed 7 goals, after starter Trevor Cann had allowed 2 goals in the games' first 93 seconds. Missaen may have gotten a break in terms of the Rangers launching lots of shots at him early it got him into the game quickly and some of the early ones weren't of the best variety, Missaen also came up with some huge stops. It appeared as if the reigning tallest OHL goalie at 6'7" would allow the Petes to escape the period scoreless, but that all ended when they took a succession of three overlapping penalties, culminating in a minor for playing the puck without a helmet on. Oreskovich nearly scored on the two-man advantage, but the puck was left right behind Missaen and Justin Azevedo simply reached his stick behind the netminder and picked up the easy goal, only 16 seconds later while enjoying a one-man advantage Kevin Henderson slapped a puck past Missaen doubling the Rangers' lead. With 21 seconds left in the first period, Brian Soso, took a feed from Matt Pepe on the opposite side of the ice, he took the pass and like a natural sniper, picked the top corner with a smart wrister. The bad night had suddenly gotten worse for the Petes.
The Rangers simply took the momentum into the second period with them. Robert Bortuzzo hit a post during the first period, in the second period he had a great point shot, that would eventually bounce to Kevin Henderson who whipped the rebound past Missaen for his second power play goal of the night. Less than one minute later, it was Nazem Kadri who burst into the zone and beat Missaen, early in the first period Kadri was pulled down while on a breakaway. Kadri's goal ended Missaen's game after 35 shots in just over 25 minutes. It took the Rangers a little time to get through to another young netminder: Trevor Cann, who's only 17 years old. Yannick Weber broke the ice with another nice shot from the point. Justin Caruana broke up the shutout early in the third period on a power play, he tipped in a shot, that was extensively reviewed as potentially a high-stick. The goal was permitted and for Caruana who's missed most of the season thus far it was his first goal of the season. Later in the third period, Kevin Henderson scored on the power play, his third goal on the man advantage of the night, giving him his first hattrick, infront of an electrified season-high crowd of over 6,000. Henderson was named the games' first star. Things got a little rough once the Rangers had jumped out to their huge lead, Justin Caruana and Justin Soryal started running around hitting anything blue. Devin Welsh dopped the gloves with Dan Gyenes and Jean-Michel Rizk fought fellow overager: Craig Cescon. Overall the Rangers were 5 for 8 on the power play.