Rangers swamp Sailors

GLANBROOK (Nov. 3) — Emergency call-up Tomas Rozman made 24 saves and Sean Golebiowski contributed two goals and an assist as the Glanbrook Rangers downed the Port Dover Sailors 5-2, keeping the Rangers on a mini-roll as they’ve been unbeaten in their last four games (three wins and a tie).  It also erased some of the bad memories from their last encounter when the Rangers turned in a less-than-satisfactory effort in a 6-4 loss.

Not that they had an easy time of it;  the Sailors’ game is one of relentless checking, giving the Rangers very little room to manoeuvre and even less time to consider their next move.

“They’re a definitely a hard team to play against,” said Rangers’ coach Andy Tait.  “They’re pretty solid system-wise and they keep up the pressure.”

The Rangers did manage to slip out from under every now and then and when they did, they struck quickly with a pair of  first-period goals just 62 seconds apart by Ryan Burke and Golebiowski at 5:57 and 6:59 respectively.    But the Sailors didn’t let up and forced a turnover in the Glanbrook zone that led to a goal by Zachary Johnson at 14:34.  The Rangers had several other promising chances foiled by Port Dover netminder Ben Serrador.

“We could have done a better job of putting pucks in the net,” said Tait.

The second frame was much of the same, but Daniel Vella gave the Rangers some breathing room with his second goal of the season at 4:58.  Golebiowski extended the lead when a pass from Harrison Farrugia deflected off his skate past Serrador, with the referee rejecting Port Dover protests that Golebiowski had directed the puck in.  It was the Glanbrook winger’s team-leading fifth goal of the campaign.

But Port Dover again retaliated as yet more defensive confusion resulted in a goal by  Corson Folz at 14:02 to keep the Sailors within range.   Now, in their previous meeting, the Sailors utterly dominated the final frame with three goals to break open what had been a back-and-forth struggle.  But the Rangers turned the tables this time, playing with a new-found poise and denying the visitors any opportunities to mount a rally.

“To counter their checking, we used our speed,” said Tait.  “Attacking their zone with speed gave us opportunities.  It was good to get rolling.  The guys are starting to find their way and feel comfortable with each other.”

Farrugia sealed the deal with his first goal of the season at 15:52 of the final frame, giving Rozman, a 17-year-old member of the Hamilton Huskies U18 team, his first victory in junior hockey.  Rozman got the call because of injuries and illness to the Rangers’ regular goalkeepers Mitch Robinson, Sabastian Peto and Nolan Verardo. 

“We bore down in the third period because we really wanted to get the win for Tomas for bailing us out,” said Tait.

NOTES:    Vella and Farrugia each had a pair of assists for the Rangers.  … In their last four games, the Rangers have had three wins and one tie and outscored their opponents 15-5.

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