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Downie makes triumphant return to Peterborough

Matt Halischuk draws some attention as he gets in close on Trevor Cann.

Was he worth it Peterborough?  The Petes sent a pair of second rounders along with brilliant two-way defender: Peter Aston to Windsor for disgruntled Steve Downie.  There was no looking back for the Petes, despite the price tag.  Petes' fans would be quick to comment that Downie might be worth every cent of what Kitchener was forced to offer when they sent popular 17-year-old: Yves Bastien and a trio of second rounders to the Petes for the star forward.  This time Downie wasn't disgruntled, however it was time for him to move on, with only one season left in his OHL career and the Petes clearly rebuilding it was clear that it was Downie's time to move on.  He did, but with a major price tag attached, DeBoer who covetted Downie when originally traded from Windsor to Peterborough landed his guy and Rangers fans might not look back.

The Petes and their fans were extremely appreciative of Downie during the pre-game ceremonies, but they've also learned to show a similar love for newcomer: Yves Bastien, who's had to this point shoes that are far too big to fill.  Still Petes' fans chant "Yves, Yves," impressed with the effort that endeared many Rangers' fans.  Despite the sell-out crowd and all of the hoopla about the return of Steve Downie, who was the team's captain prior to arriving in Kitchener, there was a game to be played in the lift lock city and at times it was painful to watch especially early on for the Petes' faithful.  Justin Azevedo took a shot from a bad angle beating Trevor Cann only 0:15 into the first period settting an ugly early tone and then followed up with another goal, this time on the power play only 4:30 into the opening period.  During the first meeting the Petes' had with the Rangers the Rangers set the tone early with a dominant second period and the game turned blowout quickly in the second.  John Armstrong, the return for Downie's former partner in crime: Daniel Ryder who went to Plymouth scored when the Petes had a power play of their own to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Petes' collapse on their netminder in the second period with Oreskovich digging near the puck.

Uncharacteristically, the Petes and their all-star netminder: Trevor Cann continued to struggle, Downie and Weber chipped the puck cross-crease to each other before Downie finally scored at the mid-way point of the first period.  Things settled in a dominant first period until Downie set up Peter Tsimikalis who scored what appeared to be a heart-breaker with only 16 seconds in the first period.  The late goal was depressing for the Petes since they do not possess the offensive depth or stars to mount a huge comeback.  They, like the Rangers didn't have access to their usual backup netminder to come to the aid of their starter, who clearly struggled in the opening frame.  Jason Missiaen, the massive 6'7" rookie netminder who has impressed during his rookie campaign was out of the lineup leant to the Peterborough Tier II club, it would be in vain, as their fate would be similar to that of the Petes' at the end of the night and they would be eliminated from playoffs as a result.  It was up to still-young netminder Trevor Cann to rebound in the second period.

Cann did rebound, as the Rangers sent 20 shots in his direction in what was a very good quality period for the Rangers.  The Rangers simply smoothered the Petes nearly eliminating them from all scoring opportunities.  Perhaps more importantly for the Petes, Trevor Cann stopped the bleeding, immediately, coming up with several big stops thwarting the Rangers' offense and prventing them from gaining a bigger lead.  John Armstrong then struck early in the third period brining the Petes to within one and the crowd back into the game.  The Petes continued working and outworking the Rangers who were missing three of their top nine forwards going into the game.  Nothing would be bigger than Branislav Rehus' goal mid-way through the third period bringing the Petes to within one and making the crowd's pressence known.  After the first Petes' goal of the third period, the Rangers continued pressing offensively, after the second goal, the Rangers were clearly on their heals.  John Murray kept the Rangers in the lead with some big stop, before Yannick Weber's shot found the Petes' empty net in the game's final minute.  John Murray was a sub-plot of his own getting involved with many of the Petes and having several physical confrontations along with a pair of minor penalites for himself.  The night at the Memorial Centre ended the way it started, with Downie being recognized, this time for this first star, three point effort.