Sunday, September 5, 2010

The K-W Kid Strikes Again

The Brampton Battalion are infamous for their puck-stifling defence, belligerent back-checking, and suffocating trap-style of play.

Trouble is, no one bothered to tell these new guys.

Zach Lorentz and Eric Ming were the lone goal-getters in a 2-2 draw with the Brampton Battalion Sunday afternoon in a post BBQ matinee.

Playing a team where not only is it dangerous to surrender the first goal to risk losing the game, but also risk losing the audience to an "Inception"-induced unconscious state (without the anesthesia or dream thieves), Lorentz's tally seemed to jolt the Rangers and their fans awake in the second period.

Captain-for-the-day Jason Akeson spotted the streaking Kitchener native Lorentz coming off the bench and sent him in alone on Battalion goaltending incumbent Jacob Riley (looking to take over from the departed Patrick Killeen) and Lorentz made no mistake with a bobbling puck, backhanding it between the wickets of Riley's pads.

Lorentz's marker seemed as good a time as any for the Rangers to come alive, and within seconds, Lorentz made another beautiful play, passing a seeing-eye puck to linemate Eric Ming who flipped the puck into the open net behind Riley.

And bam, the Rangers' two goals for the day were notched by their fourth line, a phenomenon that will need to continue from the blueshirts' depth if the team wants to make it deep into the playoffs.

Lorentz's two-point day followed a strong outing Friday night where he scored his first of the pre-season with a tip in front of the net.

The local boy is so far making a strong case for himself to be in the opening day roster come September 24th with three points in two games.

And with the Rangers' NHL draftees away at camp in late September and early October, Lorentz, Ming and fellow linemate Keli Grant will need to produce with absences of Tyler Randell, Jeremy Morin, Jeff Skinner, Cody Sol, Julian Melchiori, and goaltender Brandon Maxwell all away with their respective NHL clubs.

Mike Morrison took the reins for the Rangers' goalkeeping duties on Sunday and once again proved that he belongs on a championship team, letting only two goals get by him on 28 shots.

The first was a tip in front by Craig Moore on a Battalion powerplay with just under a minute left in the second stanza. The second was on what seemed like a harmless rush from Sam Carrick, but the Toronto Maple Leafs' draftee showed why he will again be one of the league's premier forwards with a snipe shot that found a hole above Morrison's right shoulder pad.

Cody Sol recorded his first fight as a Ranger and after throwing a couple punches managed to get on top of his green-clad Battalion opponent. Spott brought Sol in mainly for his defensive prowess but also for his physical game and will hope to see more from his hulking blueliner as the season progresses.

Ryan Murphy seemed to take note as he laid out an uncharacteristic thunderous hip-check in the first period that sent the Battalion forward head over heels along the left wing. That garnered a large ovation from an appreciative crowd who knows the puck-whiz more for his water-bug velocity and puck-threading abilities than for his physicality.

The Rangers will visit the Battalion in Brampton on Monday for a rematch before traveling to Niagara for a date with the Icedogs on Saturday.


  1. FYI Zach Lorentz is from Waterloo not Kitchener.

  2. I watched the replay on the 2nd Brampton goal, and it showed the puck was tipped also.

  3. That he is, thanks for the clarification! And unfortunately from my vantage point, I don't have the benefit of replay, and since the goal was attributed to Carrick, I went with that.

    Thanks for the comments.