Rangers Force Game 5 And 6

 

Only 3 teams have ever come back from being down 3-0 in an OHL playoff series, and the Rangers are looking to make that 4.

The Rangers got their first 2 points in the 2015 OHL playoffs on Thursday night at the Aud as they defeated the London Knights with a final score of 5-4.

London attacked first opening the scoring in the first period, giving a familiar feel of the past 3 games going into the second frame. That’s when the Rangers attacked. Scoring 4 goals in the second period the Rangers showed their fans and the Knights that they weren’t finished, they had a lot of fight left in them and they were ready for battle.

The Knights led shots on goal after the first 14-7, but that quickly changed as the Rangers peppered Parsons with 22 shots in the second, 9 more in the third, giving him a total of 38 shots blocked. Jake Paterson turned away 36 in total on Thursday night.

After facing their first defeat of the playoffs, apparently Dale Hunter couldn’t handle the fact that his team was defeated fair and square on Rangers home ice, so that’s what he blamed, the ice.

Sure, you can say that its okay since Rangers head coach Troy Smith accused the Knights players of embellishment, adding up to 86 minutes in the box for the Rangers so far, but now after falling on home ice to the Rangers 6-3, Dale Hunter took a stab at the coaching staff, accusing them of telling players to target Domi and take him out.

This is in context to the “hit” Domi received from Rangers Captain Liam Maaskant early in the first period during game 5 in London.

2 minutes into the game Max Domi who stands at 5’10, skated over to pressure Maaskant standing at 6’4, was “elbowed in the head” by the Rangers captain. There was no call on the play, and no league review for a suspension.

After watching the review, it looks as if Domi was grazed in the head by an elbow that wasn’t raised for a hit. Max Domi stands 6 inches shorter than Liam Maaskant and an official was right behind them on the play. It sucks, but that’s all just apart of the game. You can’t penalize a guy for being tall, or take pity on players for being small.

Domi struggled to skate off the ice where he received assistance from training staff. He was so rattled, injured, and shaken up from the hit to the head, that he was given two goaltender interference penalties back to back in the first, adding to the 18 PIM London was given in that period. Oh, and he scored the lone goal, a short handed goal, in the second for his team to temporarily give them a 2-1.

Now Smith was fined for his accusations against the Knights, so expect Dale Hunter to see a decrease in his bank account in the next little while.

NOW, back to the action!

The Rangers had a very good, Good Friday in London, coming out doubling up on the Knights 6-3 to be down 3-2 in games in the best of 7 Western Conference playoffs.

Frank Hora and Ryan MacInnis both had 2 goal nights, both of which got their 2nd goals on empty nets securing the win.

The first period alone saw a combined 28 penalty minutes, 18 of which were given to the Knights who weren’t penalized for the following two periods. A majority of these penalties were coincidentals , which as a ref bothered me. Taking both players teaches teams nothing, no one is short handed and you get a 2 minute breather, lucky you. As the ref, read the play, depending on the infraction take the instigator, or take the retaliation depending on the at, taking both does nothing. A total of 16 penalty minutes in the first were handed out as coincidentals.

Mitch Marner was held to a single point in both the Rangers wins so far this series, something that has been key from game 1 is to shut down the line and a half that poses the greatest threat. Domi is more busy trying to get under the skin of Max Iafrate and Liam Maaskant since he has only had 2 multi point games, and 1 where he was pointless.

So now the series is at 3-2 with the Knights having a game advantage.

Its been do or die since Thursday night and the Rangers are not ready to hang up the skates for the season quiet yet.

Game 6 is set for tonight at the Aud.

Puck drop 7pm.

Catch the action live on Rogers Local Cable 20.

Or listen live on AM News 570.

kaitlyn.kilgour

Born in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, grew up in Kitchener-Waterloo, where I became a die hard Kitchener Rangers fan! Graduate from Conestoga College with a diploma in Broadcast Television. My dream is to be on on-air sports broadcaster one day, and cover women’s hockey with Cassie Campbell. Favourite NHL teams are the Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes. I am very happy to be a part of Local Sports Report as a writer for the Kitchener Rangers!