The first game of a very long haul, the Rangers embarked on a three-game in three-night weekend without each of their top three defenders. The last of the trio: Yannick Weber departed shortly after the Rangers nationally televised victory over the Kingston Frontenacs, and with Bortuzzo injured and Jakub Kindl already departed overseas, it left the young Rangers' blueline relatively crippled. Nick Spaling, both opened and closed out the scoring for the Rangers, it could be said that his goals were the difference for the Rangers against Saginaw. Spaling banked in a rebound shortly after the conclusion of a Rangers' powerplay. The Rangers maintained the remainder of the period and went to the locker room with a goaltender inference penalty to Nick Spaling that was assessed with only half a second left in the period. The call, a marginal one took place during the end of an odd-man rush into the Saginaw end that failed to produce a goal.
In the second period while killing a penalty
Matt Halischuk managed to spring speedster: Yves Bastien who rushed into
the zone and beat Ryan Daniels, one of the two towering Spirit netminders.
Ryan Daniels stands 6'2" and his counterpart and Waterloo-native: Jovica
Zelenbaba who has only seen a total of four games of action in parts of
two seasons in the OHL, he similar to giant Rangers' netmidner: Dan Turple,
stands 6'6" tall, he has yet to see the ice in Kitchener aside from pre-game
warmups. The Rangers took a dominant lead midway through the second
period. Their powerplay was sputtering without their premier pointmen
and needed a little boost. Ryan Daniels wasn't cooperative with allowing
the easy goal, but the Rangers' star netminder John Murray came up with
a big assist, in the litteral sense. John Murray came flying out
of his crease when the puck was cleared the length and fired a quick pass
to Peter Tsimikalis who was waiting at the Saginaw blueline. Tsimikalis
didn't have the most clear path to the net, but did come in on an angle
blasting a shot before putting in his own rebound, the Rangers were up
3-0, and they would need very single one of those early goals.
John Murray's shutout was thwarted late in the second period during a Spirit power play. Chris Chapelle took a pass from former Rangers' winger Jack Combs and beat Murray, the comeback was at least started. The comeback became more real when defender Garrett Sinfield beat Murray from the point and suddenly the Rangers commanding lead was trimmed to only one goal. But, the Rangers didn't take time in replying. For the second time in the game Peter Tsimikalis was the beneficiary of a terrific pass, this time it was linemate: Victor Oreskovich, Oreskovich found Tsimikalis coming to the goal with speed and enabled him to find a clear path to the goal without being harassed and like a sniper he beat Daniels only 18 seconds after the Saginaw Spirit had closed the gap. Fortuantely for the Spirit veteran defender Patrick McNeill was bounced from team Canada, leaving the Spirit with more veteran pressence. Ryan O'Marra (recently acquired from the Otters) stuck with team Canada. McNeill scored from the point and the Spirit had again closed to within a goal.
The Spirit then found themselves in penalty trouble, things went from bad to worse. Playing shorthanded meant for the Rangers that they had to put some players in some pretty unusual positions. Matt Halischuk and Peter Tsimikalis were asked to play the point on the power play and did well enough, no huge gaffs though there was no mistaking them for Yannick Weber or Jakub Kindl. The Rangers appeared to blow a huge chance to put the Spirit away when they had a two-man advantage and could not capitalize. While still up a man Matt Halischuk put himself in a vulnerable spot on the point blocking a clearing attempt, but in the process managed to draw in two Spirit forwards leaving a mismatch in front that allowed Nick Spaling to walk out infront and score. Both Ryan McDonough and captain Tyler Haskins were given late ten minute misconducts as the Spirit began to get furstrated, the Rangers concluded the game on the power play.