I'm not going to make the live blogging mistake of nearly going play-by-play, but watch this space for updates throughout tonight's game...
7:35 p.m.: The anthem is done and we are ready to go.
7:46 p.m.: After a tight start, Kitchener has settled in and is slightly carrying the play. Belleville's Shawn Matthias is playing. Mike Murphy looks sharp, doing a great job at controlling the rebounds. Still 0-0, 10:25 left.
8:00 p.m.: Belleville kills first penalty of game. One up note to both teams knowing that they will live to play again--both teams are playing positive hockey. Still scoreless, 3 min left.
8:02p.m.: Kitchener opens the scoring on a delayed penalty. It cam at the end of a long shift in Belleville's zone. 1-0 Rangers 2:30 left. I'll get the full scoring play in a minute...Mashinter, unassisted.
8:05 p.m.: First intermission. 1-0 Kitchener.
8:20 - 2nd period starts. Kitchener on the PP. Vital kill for Belleville, methinks....and it doesn't go well, with the Rangers scoring an ugly one from the side. 2-0 19 min left. Spaling the goal scorer.
8:30 p.m.: Kitchener in complete control now. If it wasn't for strong goaltending from Belleville, this game would be out of reach. But, for now the Bulls still with a chance - 2-0, 12 min. left second.
8:41 p.m,: So, it's a game. Matthias rips a wrister to the top corner on the PP - 2-1 Kitchener, 5 min left second.
8:52 p.m.: End of two - 2-1 Kitchener. If Belleville does come back to tie this up there will be a lot of Rangers cursing the name Mike Murphy. The Rangers had no fewer than four sure-thing-can't-possibly-miss scoring chances in the last 90 seconds of that period, but come out of it empty handed. Shots after two are 36-18 Rangers, but Belleville does look dangerous on the counter attack. It should be Kitchener's to lose, but it should have been Kitchener's to lose a week ago.
9:11 p.m.: Third underway. About a minute in, no change.
9:15 p.m.: Kitchener has elected to trap it up a bit this period. And, they are doing a damn good job of it. Belleville seems to attempt 150 feet passes on every break out to little effect.
9:18 p.m.: (sigh) Kitchener scores another ugly goal. Question: Since when were attackers allowed to stand inside the crease? It looks unlikely that Belleville can come back from this - 3-1
9:22 p.m. - It's under review, but looks like it might count - and it does. The review was to see whether the net was off. That a player was standing in the crease behind Murphy is irrelevant. Ya gotta let 'em play, you know.
9:34 p.m.: Full credit to Kitchener tonight. They are playing a near perfect game. Belleville is getting absolutely no pressure through the middle of the attacking zone--even the goal was from the wing. 7 min. left.
9:40 p.m.: Less than three minutes left. still 3-1. Belleville throwing everything forward, but can't break down Rangers defense. Unless there is a goal, my next post will be at game's end.
9:45 p.m.: It's a 4-1 final with the open net. Full marks to the Rangers for recovering tonight. They were by far the best team on this day.
These two teams will play at least once more in the final game of the Memorial Cup round-robin. Don't be surprised if they play twice. There will be lots more on the M-Cup as the week goes on, but for tonight...it's time to lick my wounds. The one solace a Bulls fan could take is they are owed a little karma for the Ottawa 67s fully, completely and absolutely undeserved win in 1999 (when you beat a team five out of seven times you play them in the post season it's a little hard to take watching them be called champions).
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