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Parks makes big impression first time out


Mikkel Boedker celebrates his first goal as a Ranger, with teammates in the second period.


The yearly adventure that is the Rangers' exhibition schedule continued, September 2nd of 2007 with the Rangers' celebrating their 10th annual Fan Appreciation Day, on an extremely hot and sunny afternoon.  For the second straight season, their opposition was the Brampton Battalion.  But, prior to facing their former divisional foe, each of the 30 Rangers in attendance had to endure a one hour autograph session, one where time couldn't satisfy the demand for autographs.  Though many of the veteran players who healthy scratches were able to fill in admirably prior to game time with the rest of the team in the room getting prepared for the game.  Call it early gitters for Mavric Parks who only minutes in had the fans anxious after he was unable to get in stick down in a butterfly that resulted in a shot squeezing between his legs and just missing the wide post.  Whether required or not Parks would redeem himself throughout the rest of the game, perhaps even more importantly Parks would also appear extremely calm in the crease as the game continued.

Lots of new looks for the 2007-2008 edition of the Rangers.  Including a total of 6 older rookies (all over 17 years of age) who are competing for positions on the team, including one overager.  The most notable spot on the team where there's been significant change is on the blueline and it doesn't take much effort to notice big blueliners: Steve Jensen, and Alex Dzielski, a pair of no-none-sense reargards who both run at about 220 pounds, greatly increasing the physical prowess of a blueline that appeared more apt for finesse this season.  Both of the defenders arrived from south of the border and because they are older than most of the rookies in camp an immediate impact is expected.  Jensen was probably the most frequently-used defender while on the man-advantage.  Up front, with an absence of a first-round selection all eyes were on import pick: Mikkel Boedker who impressed in intra-squad games and drill sessions.
 



Mike Duco, wearing the 'C', parks himself infront of rookie Brampton netminder Brandon Foote.

The Rangers' weren't really patient in letting the game settle prior to taking the lead.  19-year-old rookie: Spencer Anderson picked up a feed from Phil Varone on the power play, putting the Rangers on the board early, beating underage netminder: Brandon Foote, who may be a year away from competition in the OHL with the logjam of netminder in the pecking order ahead of him.  Still, with a few bounces going his way, and some speed in and around the crease, the rookie netminder limited the damage to one goal in his just over 30 minutes tending the Battalion net.  One of the Rangers who has also drawn attention because of his size is Doug Clarkson, younger brother of former Ranger favourite: David Clarkson, a 19-year-old rookie hopefully landed a thundering open-ice hit drawing applause from the crowd of just under 3,000.  Veteran netminder: Bryan Pitton replaced the 16-year-old rookie in goal mid-way through the second period.  Mikkel Boedker greated him early with a goal, putting a hard blast past him.  Boedker found himself on the point during the power play utilizing his hard shot as well.  Myles Barbieri obtained his second point of the game, he would be the only skater to tally more than one point in the low-scoring affair.

After a very tentative first two periods, the Battalion tried to open things up in the third to force a comeback, their efforts in opening up the game were relatively successful, however, their efforts in finding the back of the net were not rewarded.  Mavric Parks was the main cause of the Battalion frustration, in all the Rangers' allowed 4 breakaways and he came up big every time.  Parks came up big during a third period that saw the Rangers with their biggest shooting advantage of the game, 17-9 for a total of 49-31 overall.  However, the shot totals in the third period were probably quite deceiving as the Battalion enjoyed the lion's share of the quality scoring opportunities.  Late in the game, Mike Mascioli dropped the gloves with big Battalion forward: Kevin Christmas, though Mascioli gave away roughly 20 pounds in the matchup, he stayed in the fight long enough to gain the advantage knocking Christmas down to one knee, then starting to drop big punches.  Since the fight occured in the third period, both combatants earned themselves game misconducts and one-game suspensions for their efforts.