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Kitchener Rangers Mark Their Territory

PhotobucketThis article has been submitted by Chris Pope.

As The Rock would say, finally the Belleville Bulls have come back….to reality.

The Bulls battled back from a three games to none deficit to force a game seven in Kitchener on Monday night.

Game seven began with both teams playing it safe and both looking almost scared to make a mistake. Six minutes into the first period and both teams having only tallied four shots a piece, the Rangers showed why they were the number one ranked team in the country when they turned the shots into 21-3 and the score 1-0 for the blue shirts.

In the second period, Nashville Predators’ draft-pick and the OHL`s most sportsmanlike player, Nick Spaling, dove on his stomach in front of the Belleville goal and banged in a rebound to make the score 2-0. That was a lead that the Rangers would not relinquish.

With the Bulls’ goalie pulled in the final minute, Kitchener fan favorite Mike Duco picked up a loose puck outside of the Rangers zone and skated the puck to the Bulls blueline, sending the 6,754 Kitchener faithful into a frenzy as he buried the biscuit into the open net, locking the win for the home team 4-1.

The commissioner of the OHL, David Branch, began the post game celebrations by presenting Justin Azevedo with the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award, awarded to the playoff MVP. Azevedo was also the OHL’s most outstanding player in the regular season.

Branch then passed over the OHL championship trophy to the Rangers captain Matt Pepe to the ovation of the crowd as the Rangers passed around the trophy skating around the ice.

The Rangers finally looked like the team that breezed through the first three rounds and handily took the first three games from the Bulls as they controlled most of the play in the game, out shooting the Bulls by a total of 51- 27.

The Rangers wear around shirts in their pre-game warm-up with their symbol on the front and on the back it has a checklist. League’s President Trophy, check. Division Title, check. Western Conference Champions, check. Until tonight both OHL Champions and Memorial Cup Champions were both unchecked. With only one box left to check off the Rangers now look to literally put their mark on history.

The Memorial Cup schedule is as follows:

Fri. May 16 – Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) vs Kitchener Rangers (Host) @ 7:00 PM
Sat. May 17 – Belleville Bulls (OHL) vs Spokane Chiefs (WHL) @ 4:00 PM
Sun. May 18 – Kitchener Rangers vs Spokane Chiefs @ 4:30 PM
Mon. May 19 – Belleville Bulls vs Gatineau Olympiques @ 7:00 PM
Tue. May 20 – Spokane Chiefs vs Gatineau Olympiques @ 7:00 PM
Wed. May 21 – Kitchener Rangers vs Belleville Bulls @ 7:00 PM
Thu May 22 – Memorial Cup Tie-Breaker (if necessary) @ 7:00 PM
Fri May 23 – Memorial Cup Semi-Final @ 7:00 PM
Sun May 25 – Memorial Cup Final @ 4:30 PM

This article has been submitted by Chris Pope.

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