|Kanko and Roy double up on
Les Rangers ont joué leur jeu d'ouverture contre les Rempart de Quebec, au Colisee samedi après-midi. Les Rangers ont gagné le jeu 4-3 en vertu de 2 buts par Derek Roy et Peter Kanko.
The Rangers didn't take their time in opening the scoring at the 85th Memorial Cup, Petr Kanko, a driving force for the Rangers in the later rounds of the postseason scored less than one minute after a high-sticking call to Remparts: Robert Pearce only 35 seconds into the game. Unlike the Kelowna Rockets after them, the Remparts kept their composure despite the early tally by the Rangers and went on to make a game out of it. After looking dominant in the early going the Rangers powerplay would run into a huge speedbump in the second period. Impatience and in general sloppy play led to a shorthanded goal by: Bérubé Guillaume, the goal occured only after an ugly sequence of deflections had the puck drop on Guillaume's stick, Robert Pearce did most of the work striping the puck from the Rangers' defense. After a deflection infront off of a Rangers' player, the puck ended up squarely on Guillaume's stick, and he made little mistake, vicitimizing Scott Dickie who only faced three shots during the second period.
The Rangers netminder: Scott Dickie did allow 3 goals on 23 shots, which on the surface may look extremely mediocre, however Dickie was tested with several extremely difficult shots on several occasions and made a very talented stop stacking the pads during the thrid when the Rangers were nursing a one goal lead. The Rempart did manage to score on the powerplay to knot the score at 3 in the third period, David Massé provided the offense.
The next goal created much in the way of controversy. Derek Roy's winner came immediately after David Clarkson had made some contact with Quebec Remparts netminder: Jean-Michel Filiatrault who played a solid game on the overall. The Remparts were just marginally outplayed by the Rangers in this matchup. Immediately after the goal, Remparts coach: Eric Lavigne first argued with the officiating staff before demanding a video review. After a few tense moments for Rangers fans the goal stood, as official: Steve Kozari pointed to center ice. Unfortunately for the Remparts, crease violations cannot be reviewed.
The Rangers powerplay after an extremely impressive
start, stalled from the midway point of the first period on. Pressure
from the speedy Quebec City forwards proved to be a massive hinderance
to the defense moving the puck up the ice. The Rangers powerplay
even surrendered a goal in the second period. During a late game
opportunity in the second period the Rangers got back on track.
While the Rangers appeared nervous and at times against an opponent which at times looked a little on the rusty side. Kitchener players are to be commended for paying the price physically. The part of the game which the Remparts dominated was the physical aspect. Thunderous hits in all three zones, the Rangers were completely willing to take those hard hits in order to make plays. On too many opportunities to mention, those passes generated scoring chances, but resulted in equally large bruises to those who made the passes.
Derek Roy and Peter Kanko who scored two goals each were named the game's first and second stars respectively, David Massé who tallied twice in a losing cause was the third star of the game.
For the Rangers it was their first Memorial
Cup victory since defeating the Laval Titan in the semi-final game of the
tourney in 1990 nearly 13 years ago.
Special Thanks to Duct Tape for his excellent