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Eight goal explosion in 2nd leads to victory

Veteran forward Ryan Berard tries to get off of Murray as the play continues up ice.

The Rangers ran straight into Marc-Andre Perron during his first OHL start.  For Perron, though it wasn't an overly busy start, it couldn't have been anything but memorable infront of a near-sellout crowd, who was extremely supportive of the former QJMHL netminder-turned free-agent.  The Rangers playing shorthanded without many of their star players weren't exactly a formitable opponent offensively on that night, but when they involved offensively Perron was both proficient and tidy in goal.  Through one period and 15 Rangers' shots on goal the same seemed to prove true.  Through the first period the Rangers were held off of the scoreboard, and in turn, the Rangers and their netminder: John Murray held the Spirit off of the scoresheet as well.  Despite outshooting the Spirit during the first period, the Rangers did appear to be fighting the hangover from the effects of the game in London.  For this matchup they were short two of their star forwards: Steve Downie, whom they've been playing without already and Victor Oreskovich, who went down in London after a knee-on-knee collision with big London blueliner: Todd Perry.

The Rangers didn't take their time in snapping the scoreless tie in the second period.  Peter Tsimikalis chipped the puck from the side boards to Justin Azevedo who simply had a nose for the net and managed to keep his stick from being interfered with beat Perron.  The Rangers found themselves shorthanded twice after their goal, during the first penalty, Matt Halischuk nearly scored while playing shorthanded, but soon after a scrum created by some hacks at the puck after the whistle would result in a scirmish and another Saginaw power play.  This time they made good as Patrick McNeill beat Murray with a screened heavy wrister after moving into the faceoff circle.  A similar scramble around Saginaw's net woudl result in a penalty to the Spirit moments later and as the Spirit did, the Rangers would also strike while on the man advantage.  The pressure that the Rangers would unleash could only be described as relentless, Peter Tsimikalis tipped Yannick Weber's point shot through Perron less than 30 seconds into the man advantge.  While playing 4-on-4 hockey, the Spirit would strike again, this time it was Ryan McDonough that would take advantage of some sloppy play in the Rangers' end.

Mike Duco and Mitch Maunu struggle to the ice after a 2nd period fight around the Rangers' net.

The Rangers were quick to reply to the Spirit goal, but it immediately appeared as if the goal would be called off, when the on-ice official: Joel Washkurak immediately waved off the goal indicating that the puck had been kicked in.  But what ensued may have been the longest video review in OHL history.  It was only after a very significant delay that the goal was allowed, fans even began booing during the delay.  While it was clear that Tsimikalis had kicked the puck, he tried to stretch with the stick and tip the puck as it was crossing the line.  Spirit coach Bob Mancini was notably frustrated after the call.  Peter Tsimikalis would get to work again, forcing the puck into the high slot where it found Kevin Henderson who never really controlled the puck with players drapped all over him and made the score 4-2 for the Rangers.  After going a full period, plus scoreless the two teams had combined for 6 goals in less than 10 minutes.  After scoring twice in London Jakub Kindl closed out the scoring with a very nice breakaway goal later in the period opening up a three-goal lead on a bad change by the Spirit.

Immediately after the 5th goal by the Rangers, the only goal that did not involve captain Peter Tsimikalis, Mitch Maunu got involved with Mike Duco around the Rangers' crease as the Spirit's frustration had boiled over.  The Spirit went to the power play and even enjoyed a two man advantage, and a second overlapping one when Jakub Kindl went to the box, also taking a 10-minute misconduct in the process.  The Spirit, would use those opportunities as Andrew Hotham would score from the point on the power play.  In the third period, the Spirit didn't get off to a quick start, they started far, far too late scoring with their netminder out and less than 30 seconds left on the clock.  The Spirit briefly thought that they had tied the game, but it was quickly judged that the goal was several heartbeats after the final buzzer.  The Rangers allowed a season-high 46 shots on goal on home ice, including 37 in the final two periods by the Spirit.  It surely wasn't one of the Rangers better defensive efforts.  Fans in attendance listened to a new voice on the PA as the every night announcer: Dave Schneider was a late scratch due to a sore throat.  After his 4-point effort, Peter Tsimikalis was awarded first star honours.