BREWSTER, NY -- It's here, the 19U Elite Finals. The Boston Jr. Rangers head to Brewster, New York for a best-of-three series with the Philadelphia Revolution. It's been a unique path for the Rangers Elite team, but through all the adversity, the team is set and ready to defend their title.
"There's not much you have to say as a coach this time of year," said Rangers 19U Elite head coach Ryan Blair. "These are the finals, the time to leave it all the on the line. We're either going to leave New York as Champions or as the Runner Up. If we play our game and stay focused on each and every shift, we will leave with the trophy."
For the Revolution, the road to the Finals was clean and precise, as they won all three of their games at the South Conference Round Robin. Philadelphia has been at the top of their conference all season long, jockeying for the top position with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers. It works out well that the final game of the Round Robin put the two rivals up against one another, and the Revolution's 7-3 victory finalized everything that needed to be answered in the South.
For the Rangers, the road to the Finals followed a much more complicated script. The team went 1-1-0 on Sunday, knocking off the New England Wolves and falling to the Vermont Lumberjacks. Ultimately, the North Conference Round Robin now came down to the Rangers matchup with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs on Monday morning.
The game with the Monarchs was actually a completion from the action that had begun on Saturday. With 15:59 left to go in the 2nd period, and the Monarchs up 3-1, the game was called due to an issue with the ice. When things resumed on Monday, it was clear what each team needed to get done.
The Rangers made 3-2, then 3-3, and then scored the game-winner with just over a minute left in regulation.
With the matchup now set for the Finals, each team rides their own version of momentum into the Championship. The Revolution won both matchups during the regular season by scores of 9-2 and 2-1. For the Rangers, they can still hang their hats on a chance of making it back-to-back titles in the Elite Division.
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