TEWKSBURY, MA -- In baseball, the period of time beginning at the end of June and stretching until the beginning of August, is referred to as the "Dog Days of Summer." A similar saying can be applied to the hockey season, just change Summer to Winter and circle the month of January.
"Our teams are definitely both grinding right now, each in their own respective ways." said Rangers Premier head coach Rich DeCaprio. "Whether it's injuries, long road trips, the length of the schedule, etc. Each team has to battle for months on end. It's the players that take care of their bodies and keep to a daily routine, those are the guys who leave here with the most success."
For the Premier team this past week began with a fresh slate, after the Valley Jr. Warriors had snapped the team's winning streak at 11 games. The Rangers had three matchups this past week, starting with the Boston Bandits on Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY 1/25 - The Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Mike McPherson. Through 20 minutes things were looking up, but it all changed fast when the Bandits scored three unanswered goals, and held on for a 4-2 victory. McPherson picked up both tallies for the Rangers.
SATURDAY 1/28 - The script with the Wolves wasn't much different as the Rangers were ahead after the first 20 minutes, this time by the score of 2-0. The Wolves stormed back to tie the score in the 2nd period, and then they got the only goal of the 3rd period. The Wolves held on for the 3-2 win in large part because of the play of Joe Morgan, who stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced.
SUNDAY 1/29 - A quick turnaround brought the team back home for a matchup with the Northern Cyclones. The script was different on this day, as the Rangers got ahead and held the lead throughout the contest, on their way to a 3-1 victory. Jared Bernis, Kyle Galloway, and Johnny Andrews had the goals for the Rangers, while Nolan Egbert stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced between the pipes.
SATURDAY 1/28 and SUNDAY 1/29 - The Rangers 19U Elite team had a much easier go of things this past weekend, as they cruised to a pair of victories over the Lehigh Valley Jr. Rebels. Saturday's score was 7-1 and Sunday's final tally was 11-0. Everyone got involved in the scoring, and the Rangers have now six of their last seven games.