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Halos rallied with five in the eighth and one in the ninth for a 6-5

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Joined: Jun 09 2014
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17:57, Jul 01 2014

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca! The New York Rangers find themselves in a do or die situation tonight in Game 6 back in "The Rock." Some of us cant help but throw around comparisons to 1994, 18 years ago to the day to be exact, when the Rangers found themselves in the identical situation. That Ranger team had played to taunting chants of 1940 (the length of the Rangers Cup drought) throughout that series. The taunting would continue until it the naysayers were hushed forever when the Stanley Cup was paraded around Madison Square Garden ice by Captain Mark Messier and his teammates following a 3-2 Game 7 win over the Vancouver Canucks. It was a thrilling Cup Final to say the least, but the NY Rangers encountered a huge mountain to climb in the form of Martin Brodeur and the NJ Devils before they could hope to compete for Lord Stanleys hardware. With their backs against the wall, the Rangers travelled through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Swamp of the Meadowlands where the New Jersey Devils flourished. Captain Mark Messier called his shot by guaranteeing a victory that would send the series back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7. It was a bold move by the man that became known as Captain Courageous and arguably the greatest leader in the history of the game. While the situation that the Rangers (and Devils) find themselves in tonight is exactly the same as it was 18 years ago to the day, almost everything else is different. I say "almost" because Martin Brodeur has been down this road before. He was terrific in the 1994 series but beaten by a superior Ranger team at the time. His level of play has been equally outstanding throughout this series and is just one win away from returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time. While Mark Messier is sure to be in the Prudential Center tonight, it will not be the Moose that Martin Brodeur and the Devils will have to contend with but a much different NY Ranger team. There will be no guarantees tonight from anyone even though those are the things that folklore is made of. I remember it well because I was the referee assigned to Game 6 in the Meadowlands this day in 1994 when Messier took the game on his back and made good on his guarantee. This is my account from on the ice and in the officials dressing room of Game 6 in 94 as I wrote it in The Final Call. "To their credit the Ranger fans suffered from the same frustration as the players and deserved full marks for loyalty. The Islander dynasty years added salt to the wounds caused by the Ranger Cup drought since 1940. The Rangers dust bowl draught finally ended in the form of a rainmaker by the name of Mark Messier, one the greatest leaders the game has ever known. On the verge of elimination at the hands of the NJ Devils on the day of Game 6 of the 94 Eastern Conference Finals the Ranger captain boldly promised a victory. The headline, "Well Win Tonight" in the New York papers that day documented Messiers claim. At the end of the second period I also made a bold prediction, not issued to the world through the media but to my linesmen, Pat Dapuzzo and Gerard Gauthier in the privacy of the officials dressing room. I said stick a fork in them - this Ranger team is done. The first and second periods were all New Jersey. Martin Brodeur looked unbeatable until Alex Kovalev found a minor chink in the Devils goalie armor with just 1:41 left in the second period. I didnt think the Rangers would solve him beyond that nor did I believe they had enough gas left in the tank to pull this one out on the road. They would start the third period on the penalty kill with Esa Tikkanen in the box for kneeing Stephane Richer with 1:09 remaining in the second period. It would be the last time I would ever doubt the words of Mark Messier. Mark Messier took the game on his back and tied it up as he slid a backhander past Brodeur just 2:48 into the third. Just five minutes into the period the Rangers had outshot the Devils 6-2. We had a new game going! Mess scored the go ahead goal by pouncing on a rebound at 12:12 and the Rangers wouldnt look back from that point. With 2:49 left in the third, Glenn Anderson of the Rangers two handed Bernie Nichols and took a slashing penalty. With 1:53 left in the period and 1:04 remaining on the power play, Jacques Lemaire called a timeout with a faceoff in the Ranger zone to the right of Mike Richter. Messier drew the puck back to his defenseman at the bottom of the faceoff circle who moved the puck behind the goal to the other corner. John McLean of the Devils got to the puck first and tried to center a pass to the front of the net but it went through the intended target and right onto Messiers stick in the slot. Mess turned with the puck and fired a shot right into the heart of the Devils unguarded cage. Mark Messier made good on his "called shot" by scoring his first hat trick as a NY Ranger (a natural one at that) to force game seven two nights later back in Madison Square Garden. Mark Messiers feat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final has been described as one of the greatest individual efforts in the history of the game. Witnessing the herculean effort put forth by Captain Courageous that night certainly made a believer out of me when only 20 minutes before I had all but written them off. Back in Madison Square Garden two nights later, the NY Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final on the strength of Stephane Matteaus goal scored in double overtime. The Ranger would have an opportunity to silence the chants of "1940" once and for all." There will be no guarantees coming from Mark Messier or any of the current Ranger players tonight in the Prudential Center. The Rock that the NY Rangers have to climb will be in the form of 40 year old future Hockey Hall of Fame goalkeeper Martin Brodeur and a very committed team of Devils in front of him. I will be watching with interest to see if one of the Ranger players provides the leadership or takes the game on his back the way the Captain did in 94. Tonight, the outcome is too unpredictable for anyone to guarantee. For a personally autographed copy of Final Call from TSN hockey analyst and former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, visit The Book Keeper website. For a regular copy of Final Call from TSN hockey analyst and former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, visit here. cheap nfl jerseys . The four-time major winner, who withdrew from last weeks Texas Open after pulling a muscle in his right side, waited as long as possible to end the guessing about whether he would play this week ahead of the Masters. wholesale nfl jerseys . Coach Tom Renney would not say who will come out of the lineup, but it is likely that one will be winger Magnus Paajarvi. Hemsky has missed 11 games with a shoulder injury, while Barker missed three with a bad shoulder. http://www.jerseysfromchinahome.com/. The team said Love was doubtful for the game, but did not rule out him trying to play. Love is averaging 25.5 points and 13.8 rebounds per game for the Wolves and has been on a tear during their three-game winning streak. wholesale jerseys . Kendricks deal was announced Thursday night and includes award bonuses. He was 10-13 with a 4.70 ERA last season, and is 64-55 with a 4.38 ERA in seven seasons. cheap jerseys . Outfielder Fernando Martinez was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. He was batting .292 in the minors. Davis is hitting .302 with seven home runs and a team-leading 25 RBIs.ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Minnesota Twins had their the best game of the season from a power standpoint, and it wasnt easy against a pitching staff that had given up fewer home runs than any team in the American League going in. Delmon Young drove in three runs with a pair of homers off sinkerballer Joel Pineiro, Michael Cuddyer hit a tiebreaking grand slam and a solo shot, and Jason Kubel also went deep to lead the Minnesota Twins to an 11-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. "You know hes a sinkerballer, and what sinkerballers do is try to throw the ball down in the zone and get you to roll over the ball," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "And if you chase and fall into the trap, thats his goal. But I thought we laid off some pitches early. He used his breaking ball, but we had some good at-bats overall and put the ball in play. And when he made some mistakes, we put them in the seats." Anthony Swarzak (3-3) was credited with the victory, allowing one hit in five scoreless innings after taking over for ineffective starter Scott Baker. The right-hander recorded his sixth career victory and first in relief. Peter Bourjos homered for the Angels, who squandered a chance to tie Texas for the AL West lead for the first time since July 5 after the Rangers lost at Detroit. Manager Mike Scioscia returned to the dugout after serving a one-game suspension. Baker threw 77 pitches through three innings in his shortest outing of the season, allowing four runs — three earned — and five hits. He left with the score tied four-all — as did Joel Pineiro, who was lifted with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. But Cuddyer drove Hisanori Takahashis first pitch to left-centre for his fifth grand slam and the first by the Twins. "He threw me a change-up and I was waiting for it," Cuddyer said. "It that situation, man on third and less than two outs, Im just basically trying to hit a sac fly. Fortunately, I was able to get a good part of the bat on it and was able to hit it out of the park. Delmon came up big with two homers and Kubel got one, so all around, it was a good night," Cuddyer said. "We had a good approach at the plate. We were able to see the ball up and hit it." Pineiro (5-6) was charged with seven runs and seven hits in 4-1 innings. He is 0-3 with a whopping 14.85 earned-run average over his last four starts, and has failed to make it through the fifth in three of them. "I wish I had an explanation for what is going on. I have no idea," Pineiro said. "I feel healthy and good. I have tried everything that I can. Honestly the next thing I could do is sacrifice a live chicken. I just dont know." Kubel hit his seventh homer in the seventh against Takahashi, and Cuddyer added his 18th in the ninth against Horacio Ramirez. The five home runs were season high for the Twins, as well as the Angels staff. "Those guys swung the bats well tonight," Scioscia said. "We just had too many hitting counts for our guys to really get past anything. I think that has really been haunting Joel in his last handful of starts and that is a rough combination. "It is easy to see that the ball isnt coming out of his hand the way that it needs to and his command isnt there. Joel is strong when he is commanding the count and getting contact on his teerms and making pitches.dddddddddddd He hasnt been doing that lately. It has been a rough go. We are going to keep searching and going." The Angels spotted Minnesota a 3-0 lead before pulling ahead with a four-run third. Bourjos led off with a drive into the lower seats in the left field corner, ending a streak of seven starts and 52 2-3 innings for Baker in which he did not allow a home run. Torii Hunter got the Halos even with a two-out, two-run single, and Alberto Callaspo capped the rally with an RBI single before he was erased in a rundown. "I knew what I needed to do to be successful tonight, but it just wasnt happening," said Baker, who threw 45 pitches in the third inning. "Theres very few times you have an inning with 40-something pitches, and thats kind of hard to recover from. I just felt like I was surviving tonight and not thriving. I was just getting by. I wasnt able to put guys away tonight, and they battled. There were a couple of occasions where I really could have used a good two-strike pitch." Young, who hadnt hit a home run since June 9, tied it in the fourth with his fourth of the season and second in as many at-bats. In the second inning, he followed a leadoff single by Danny Valencia with a drive over the fence in left-centre. It was Youngs third career two-homer game and first since Oct. 4, 2009 against Kansas City. "With a sinkerball pitcher, youve got to just stay with it," Young said. "You cant try to pull the ball because youre going to beat it right into the ground. I just happened to get a couple of balls up and put good swing on them." After going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position in their 5-1 loss to Ervin Santana on Friday night, the Twins cashed in on their first attempt against Pineiro. Joe Mauer, who came in 14 for 20 against the right-hander with no strikeouts, singled home a run in the first after Ben Revere singled and stole second. Including his no-decision, Baker is 1 for 5 lifetime against the Angels with a 4.77 ERA in 11 career starts, and 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA at Anaheim. In his other start against them this season on May 27 in Minnesota, he scattered six hits over seven innings and left with a 5-0 lead before the Halos rallied with five in the eighth and one in the ninth for a 6-5 victory. Notes: Cuddyer is the only player still with the Twins from their 2002 AL Championship Series loss to the Angels. ... Young started as the designated hitter in place of Jim Thome, who didnt play because of stiffness in his neck. ... When Young homered, he became the 60th consecutive batter Piniero had faced without a strikeout. That drought ended when the next hitter, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, looked at a called third strike. ... Bourjos homer was the first allowed by Baker since June 6 at Cleveland, when Michael Brantley hit a solo shot against him. ... Baker came in with a .568 winning percentage (64-4 is the fourth-best in Twins history behind Johan Santana (.679), Camilo Pascual (.607) and Mudcat Grant (.58. ... After Thursday nights series finale, the Twins return to Target Field on Friday night to begin a series against the White Sox — which will begin a three-day celebration of the 20th anniversary of Minnesotas 1991 World Series title. More than 15 players from that team are scheduled to take part, along with former manager Tom Kelly. ' ' '

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