The Rangers have officially had enough of the Greyhounds this season. Not unlike last season, the Rangers fumbled and struggled their way to a not-so-impressive 1-3 record for the season series against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Rangers left 2006 behind in the Soo and with a new calendar year was infront of them after losing their second straight road game this one on New Year's eve. The Rangers were making their second visit in 2006 to the brand new Steelback Centre where they snuck away with a 1-0 victory during their only other visit this season coincidentally their only other game against the Greyhounds. No need to ask who would be starting in goal for the Greyhounds as per usual against the Rangers. Kyle "Juice" Gajewski was making his 8th start in the last two seasons against the Rangers. Aside from being pulled in favour of an extra attacker during the last head-to-head matchup, Kyle has played in every single second of every game the Greyhounds have played against the Rangers during the last two seasons. Fortunately, the Rangers are done with Gajewski for this season, though the chances of a playoff rendez-vous are fairly reasonable.
The Rangers and Greyhounds traded goals during
the first period, those goals during a very cautious first period would
be the only 5-on-5 offensive tallies of the game for either team.
Rookie Sean Jones would score early in the first period bringing the crowd
of 4600 to life early. Late in the period Yves Bastien would use
his speed to create a goal tying the game for the Rangers. The Rangers
were unable to sustain too much pressure on Kyle Gajewski throughout, and
the second period was full evidence of that fact. They especially
struggled with gaining rebounds, and Gajewski as per usual wasn't overly
generous in providing them. Matt Lyall gave the Greyhounds the lead
for good with an extremely impressive one-man rush while shorthanded.
Late in the period some tempers boiled over. First, Brian Soso and
Brandon Biggers were taken to the penalty box for some away from the play
antics. Only three seconds later Adam Zamec and Tyler Cuthbert dropped
the gloves while in the Greyhounds' zone.
The insanity only continued when officials tried to run the final second off of the clock. Andrew Desjardins, public enemy number one was just in the process of making himself even more popular to the Rangers' players. This time as both teams were leaving the ice, Desjardins introduced himself to one of the Rangers via a spear to the mid-section. For those that remember it was Desjardins who gave Dan Kelly a concussion during the first game of the season, and then proceeded to mock the Rangers' rookie while in the penalty box later in the game. This started a massive line brawl with officials desperately trying to get some control of the situation. Dan Gyenes and Brad Good would square off and afterwards Mike Duco and Brandon Biggers another former Storm player. Early in the third period the Greyhounds appeared to take control for good. Dustin Jeffrey scored while the Greyhounds were up a man, at the midway point of the period yet another former Storm player struck, Josh Godfrey took a feed from Andrew Desjardins giving the Greyhounds a commanding 4-1 lead.
Surprisingly despite playing shortstaffed and down three goals on the third game in two and a half days, the Rangers kept themselves in the game, less than one minute after the Greyhounds had taken a commanding three-goal lead, Yves Bastien scored his second goal of the game. The official kept on peppering power plays on the Rangers, the Greyhounds had 3 overlapping penalties including one bench minor presumably brought on by coach Lambert. Kevin Henderson finally scored while the Rangers were at the tail end of the three infractions. But, just as the Darren Price helped get the Rangers back into the game, he sufficated them. A questionable call on the Rangers after many against the Greyhounds, Michael Quesnele scored to give open up a 2-goal lead and it was late. The Rangers pulled their netminder but couldn't come close. The Rangers and Greyhounds each had a pair of power play goals, though the Rangers did have 11 opportunities to the Greyhounds' 6.