Friday, October 15, 2010

Attack Double-up Rangers 6-3

It was just that one 4-0 game, right? The Attack couldn't possibly keep up their incredible pace from two weeks ago against this historically one-sided matchup between the once-dominant Rangers and the surprise of the year in the OHL's Owen Sound Attack.

Sorry, Rangers fans. Once upon a time two weeks ago, the Attack placed their foot in the door of OHL elite status when they rang off a few straight wins after an opening night loss to Guelph.

Now they've blown the door wide open.

And the traditional league powers, such as the Kitchener crew are starting to take notice.

Last night's 6-3 win for the Attack forced a better-prepared, but still not-good-enough Rangers team to fight in the game of their lives, and still come up empty-handed, for the first time at home.

Even without team offensive superstar Joey Hishon, out with a hurt hand, the Attack found a way to pot six against these Rangers.

It was strangely reminiscent of last year, where always the matches were tightly fought, but the blueshirts seemed to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the end, just while the Attack were still searching where that quarter behind their ear came from.

This year, things are going to be a little different in the Midwest.

If there were any lingering nay-sayers out there, Owen Sound have proved to the league they're for real.

Now 7-1, the Attack lead the Western Conference with 14 points, and the Rangers' only two gaffes in their 6-2 record have come via the Bayshore Boys from the Sound.

The Rangers played catch-up all night and never commanded a lead, as Attack captain Garrett Wilson (pictured) led the charge with two markers, and 16 year-old sensation Jarrod Maidens added a single, as did tough-guy Mike Halmo and Brendan Childerley.

Halmo had a Mascioli-on-Tavares-esque exchange on top of Rangers centre Andrew Crescenzi after battling along the boards with the puck, holding and beating on the oversized Rangers forward while the play was light years away from them.

Halmo got away with a roughing minor. Crescenzi got a holding call.

Attack head coach Mark Reeds also got into it with referees Matt Parlette and Craig Spada.

Reeds was incensed his Attack were called for five minor infractions in the first and the Rangers were seemingly escaping the whistle with murder.

Reeds was tossed, but stayed to complete the game.

A fine may be forthcoming to the team for his decision to stay with the team and not take part in some early Oktoberfest festivities next door.

While the Rangers may have had some chances to put the Attack away on Spada's and Parlette's calls, the squad again failed to produce anything of significance, finishing a pitiful 1-7 on the powerplay, a trend all too common this season.

The penalty-kill must also improve. The Rangers sit dead last at a meagre 68.4% efficiency rate.

Specialty teams have the ability to kill elite teams and win games.

The Rangers have sensed all too late, that Owen Sound is a foe needed to be put away by an extraordinary effort.

And aside from Andrew Crescenzi and a select few (namely Ben Thomson and Tyler Randell who all scored), the Rangers' lacklustre effort just wouldn't cut it on a night where the Attack's red-carpet entrance into official league stardom was ingrained into the blueshirts' collective conscience.

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