Will Santa bring another two points for the South Grenville Rangers?
PRESCOTT - The South Grenville Rangers are continuing their climb up the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) standings. The Rangers picked up another two points over the weekend...and came very close to making it four.
Saturday night in Prescott, the Rangers took full advantage of the last place Bytown Royals, The Rangers lit up the goal light behind the visiting net seven times on route to a lopsided 7-1 victory. Captain Carson Pickup lead the way for the home team, netting two goals and setting up another two for a four-point night. Damon Brown, Tristian Loomis, Tyler Manderson, Brody Ranger and Justin Raymond rounded out the scoring. Goalie Sam Limoges-Ring turned away all but one for the win.
Sunday saw the Rangers facing stiffer opposition as they traveled north to face the second-place Gatineau Hull-Volant. The Rangers append the scoring courtesy of Tyler Manderson's tally in the first period. The Volant answered in the second frame and the teams traded goals in the third (Justin Raymond for the Rangers), sending the game into overtime. The home team managed to get one past South Grenville netminder Lee Spurgeon that ended the match four minutes into the extra time. Final score Gatineau Hull-Volant 2 - South Grenville Rangers 1.
Lucas Stitt, Head of Hockey Operations for the South Grenville squad, says management is happy with the trend they are seeing on the ice.
"We feel our team is starting to really come on," Stitt told The Journal. "We said from the beginning it was going to be a process to get a feel for the league and get the younger guys accustomed to junior hockey. Andrew (General Manager) has done a great job adding a few key pieces to the puzzle, and Shawn (Head Coach) has managed to plug them in to be effective right away. If you look at our last seven games, you can see some real progress. Three wins, two overtime losses, a loss to last year's finalist in a game we led until the third period and a tie. If it weren't for the NCJHL's rule of no overtime-loss points we'd have nine-of-the-last-14 available points," he explained.
Stitt is expecting the team to build on their present momentum heading into 2018. The team's final game for the 2017 portion of the NCJHL schedule is slated for this coming Saturday at the Leo Boivin Community Centre against the Blackburn Inferno.
"Needless to say we are looking to get two points on Saturday leading into a big push into the new year. We've already made moves in the standings and I'd love to see us push ourselves into an even more favourable position come playoffs," Stitt concluded.
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. For younger fans, the Rangers are also expecting a very special guest who is flying in from the North Pole for a quick visit before the game.