Sunday, September 5, 2010

Morin Puts on a Show in Possible Curtain Call

Well, if it was to be Jeremy Morin's last game in a Kitchener Rangers uniform, the 19 year-old left-winger made sure he would leave an impression for the Aud faithful who may possibly be deprived of No. 61's dazzling display of dominance in an 8-3 rout of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.

Morin's NHL-drafted team, the Chicago Blackhawks, could make Morin a Mo-show in Kitchener this year and place him with their AHL affiliate in Rockford. It all comes down to an NHL ruling which will clarify where players drafted outside the OHL, but signed with an OHL team, can play as a 19 year-old.

The fogginess surrounding Morin's immediate future didn't stop the Rangers' sniper from putting on a show however.

Morin (pictured) put on a tantalizing display of his lethal release and notched two goals and two assists in a game which featured the Rangers' marksman up to his old tricks. His snapshot that can rival possibly anyone's in the AHL, let alone the OHL was on frequent display, but the top forward also broke out a couple of dekes which left his opponents' defencemen and the crowd wondering what just happened.

The Rangers' top line, assuming Morin and top centreman Jeff Skinner are returned from NHL training camps showed just how destructive they can be in their first exhibition game. Morin, Skinner and Gabriel Landeskog combined for an astounding 10 points. The Rangers barely felt the absence of graduated forward Chris Mackinnon, or the press-box sit-outs of Jason Akeson and Michael Catenacci.

Mind you, the Huskies are a very young team, in a different league, who may have been fatigued by travel, but if the boys in blue wanted to prove themselves as favourites early on, they answered any doubters by playing a solid 60 minutes full of defensively responsible backchecking by the rookies (which shows coach Steve Spott's mantra getting through to the kids early on).

The Rangers exploded for four goals in the second period after being knotted at twos after the first, and the top trio of Morin, Skinner and Landeskog who barely saw any action in the third period gave way to the youngsters to strut their stuff.

And strut they did. Matia Marcantuoni, the Rangers' top draft pick over the summer notched his first goal in his Rangers-crested jersey by flying (the kid's got wheels) down the right wing and faking a shot before placing it neatly under the crossbar in the third.

Zach Lorentz, a local native, closed out the scoring and put the Huskies to rest with his redirected tip-in off 16 year-old Evan McEneny's point shot.

If the third frame was a forum for his rookies to entice, Spott and company has got to be pleased with what they saw. The high learning curve of the jump to the O seemed minimized with the talent and work ethic instilled in his young pups during training camp. Promises of a bright future seemed aplenty with solid contributions by McEneny, Lorentz, Marcantuoni and made the Rangers more than a one-trick pony.

Overager Matt Tipoff showed why he belongs on the club as one of three for the upcoming season with two goals of his own, and Landeskog and Skinner also scored for the Rangers.

Junior Harris recorded two and Taylor Lambke notched a single for the Huskies.

The Rangers' second exhibition game falls this Sunday when the Brampton Battalion roll into town.

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