GLANBROOK (Nov. 17) — The Glanbrook Rangers were victims of circumstance. Facing the double jeopardy of having a lineup depleted by injuries and suspensions, and being forced to convert forwards into defencemen, the Rangers fell 8-1 to the Niagara Riverhawks. It was Glanbrook’s first loss in regulation time since Oct. 17, a seven-game streak in which they recorded at least one point.
With defenders Daniel Vella and Josh Lindsay out with injuries and Dallas Nadasdi serving a suspension, forwards Matt Wright and Chris Buch were called to fill in on a blueline corps that was already short-staffed after veteran Lyall Shaw departed the team several games ago owing to employment responsibilities. Furthermore, leading scorer Sean Golebiowski was waiting out his four-game banishment and forward Christian Stevens was also sidelined, forcing the coaches to cobble together a unit that was prone to turmoil.
Not that Rangers’ coach Andrew Tait was looking to that as an excuse.
“In a perfect world, you get to play with a full lineup,” he said. “But we expect guys to show up and play whatever position they’re in.”
Still, it’s a tough spot for players to adjust to new roles and new responsibilities and it didn’t take long for the Riverhawks to exploit the Rangers’ vulnerabilities as Jayden Engberts struck just 52 seconds after the opening face-off. Things went south pretty quickly after that as Michael Cole, Reid Lowe and Giacomo Cotrufo extended Niagara’s lead to 4-0 by the end of the period and Trevor Snyder made it 5-0 early in the second.
There was a glimmer of hope that the Rangers might be finding their balance in the middle frame, putting on some pressure that resulted in a goal by Tyler Mulholland at the 7:00-minute mark. However, the Riverhawks quickly snuffed out that spark as Robbie Denham scored just over a minute later and Lowe, with his second of the game, and Nick Duguid put the final touches to the rout.
“There were points in the game when we played with discipline,” said Tait, “but the rest of the game, we clearly didn’t. This was just a classic case where one team showed up to play, and the other didn’t. We have to give them credit … twice now they’ve come into our building and taken it to us (Niagara’s last visit was a 7-0 triumph in the Rangers’ home opener).
“After something like this, you just burn the tapes and move on.”
NOTES: Muholland’s goal was his first of the season … Mitch Robinson and Sabastien Peto split goaltending duties for the Rangers, each surrendering four goals, with Robinson being tagged with the loss … The Rangers were 0-for-5 on the power play.