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Rangers steamroll rivals in the third period

Justin Azevedo chases Owen Sound's Theo Peckham while on the forecheck.

The Rangers' lost all four games on home ice last season to the Guelph Storm, they got lucky earlier this season when Jean-Michel Rizk's one-second faceoff wonder found its way through Jason Guy earlier this season.  On this night it almost appeared as if the Rangers were going to revert to their old habits of dropping games to the Guelph Storm on home ice.  Only 4:22 into the game Tom Priamo beat John Murray through the five hole redirecting a shot by Drew Doughty giving the Storm the early lead.  It would take a long, long time for the Rangers to break the ice themselves, that moment finally arrived at nearly the same time in the second period when Victor Oreskovich snapped out of his goalless funk finally notching one.  Oreskovich, was just featured in the KW Record earlier in the day, speaking about his struggles recently and scoreless run, a rendez-vous with Dr. Hicks seems to have been the tonic, and likewise for teammate: Kevin Henderson who also snapped out of a poor streak.  The story of the second period wasn't so much who was scoring, it was more who wasn't shooting.  The Guelph Storm were suffocated, through the second period registering one very weak shot on goal, the Storm had two near full length power plays over the course of the period as well.

Perhaps more concerning than the Storm's stiffled offense was the Rangers offense.  The Rangers finally broke the tie late in the period during the last of three consecutive power plays.  Kevin Henderson picked up a rebound and stuffed it past Thomas McCollum whom had frustrated the Rangers in his last visit to Kitchener after replacing now departed Storm netminder: Jason Guy early in the first period.  Still, it was a rather poultry offensive output for the Rangers who only put the two goals past McCollum in 30 shots through the first fourty minutes.  The floodgates appeared to have opened during the third period when Brian Soso stepped over the blueline and slapped a weak shot towards the net that bounced and just barely found the inside of the long side of the net.  The goal gave the Rangers a two-goal cushion, but perhaps it was much, much more for the Rangers.  The Rangers shook up 16-year-old netminder: Tomas McCollum and perhaps more importantly with the two goal lead got the Storm frustrated and with that third period lead forced the Storm to open up their game up offensively something that proved deadly given the youth on the team, starting with their netminder.

Matt Halischuk grimaces as he tries to slash a puck out of mid-air.

The three consecutive goals created a situation where frustration had set in after 6 losses in their past 7 and well on their way to winning only 1 of their last eight games.  Things to a turn for the violent only a minute after the Rangers had scored to go up 3-1.  Yves Bastien was forced into the boards while in a vulnerable position by Guelph's Michael Caruso.  Dan Kelly came rushing to his teammates aid, he'd eventually lose the fight with Caruso but would receive a very hearty round of applause from both his teammates and many of the 5,400 in attendance for his efforts to stick up for a teammate.  Dan Kelly would receive the instigator with Caruso taking the original infraction, they both cancelled out at the end.  It didn't stop the Rangers' offense though.  Yves Bastien would chip one past McCollum to increase the lead to 4-1.  When Yannick Weber's point shot deflected in off of one of McCollum's teammates only minutes later to make it 5-1 it was obvious that McCollum's luck had run out.  The Rangers had spent 40 minutes confounding their fans with how on earth they weren't managing to put pucks in the net and just 8:50 of the third period leaving fans mystified as to exactly how pucks were finding their way into the net with regularity.  There was no mistaking it, the Storm were hitting rock bottom.

The emotional climax of the game came halfway through the third period.  Victor Oreskovich was being hooked while traversing the ice, he was leaning forward trying to break the check and out of no where Leigh Salters came barging through from the opposite faceoff circle, colliding with Oreskovich leaving his feet in the process, leaving the Rangers' power forward crumpled on the ice.  The remainder of the team was enraged hearing the loud clap as Salters' elbow pad collided with Oreskovich's helmet, which fortunately was secured properly.  Both Matt Pepe and Mike Duco arrived on the scene challenging Salters, Pepe drew Salters and almost simultaneously Mike Duco picked up Ryan Potruff, both Storm combatants were thrown violently to the ice to the delight of the crowd, all but Pepe would be ejected from the game.  Matt Pepe would pick up the instigator and Leigh Salters would be ejected with a 5 minute charging major to go along with his fighting major.  The Rangers then went to work starting their assault on Storm backup netminder: St. Jacques the same way they started on McCollum, Victor Oreskovich who miraculessly was none worse for wear fired a wrister so hard that it entered and exited the net almost too quick to call a goal , and while on the 3 minute power play the Rangers' got goals from Henderson and Adam Zamec connected for his first of the season.  In all the Rangers would notch 8 unanswered goals through the final two periods for the blowout win, including six in the third period.