TEWKSBURY, MA -- With the first showcase of the season in the books, both Rangers teams went back to work this past week. Both squads hit the ice for a pair of games, and each team split their set of respective contests.
The EHL team took care of business in their first game against the Walpole Express last Wednesday, beating them by a score of 4-3 in overtime. However, they would lose on Sunday to the New Hampshire Avalanche which brought their record down to 10-3-0.
The EHLP team on the other hand will enters a new week at 7-1-2 after a weekend split with the Philadelphia Little Flyers. The Rangers won game 1 by the score of 5-2 on Saturday, and then dropped the 2nd matchup in overtime on Sunday (4-3).
"Ryan [Blair] and I are satisfied with the week, as we knew that each of our teams were set to play some tough opponents," said Rangers EHL head coach and general manager Rich DeCaprio. "We would have loved to win all 4 games, but we will take the split and keep building."
This past Wednesday the 18th, the Rangers welcomed the Express to town for a matchup between the Boston Division’s top two teams. This was meeting #2 of 6 on the schedule between the rivals this season, with the Express having won the first game in Walpole by the score of 3-0.
Luckily for the Rangers, Wednesday was a different story as the Russian, Daniil Ovchinnikov, got the boys on the board early in the first with a power-play goal. The score would remain 1-0 until the Express would score off a scrum in front of the net to tie the game late in the 3rd. The game would then go into a 5-minute extra frame, but it would only take a minute for Ovchinnikov to score his 2nd goal of the game. The power forward's 2nd goal was his league-leading 4th game-winner of the season. In net Ben Parker stood tall while making 25 saves in his 2nd victory of the season.
Shifting over to Sunday, the Rangers traveled up to the Ice Den to take on the New England Division’s 1st place team, the New Hampshire Avalanche. The Avalanche got 2 quick goals in the first period and didn't look back from there, winning by the final of 3-1. EHL All-Star, Nick Grinvalds, got the Rangers only goal of the game with an assist from Bobby Kinsey, which was the forward’s 1st point since joining the Rangers.
The EHLP squad welcomed the Little Flyers to town this past weekend for a pair of matchups on Saturday and Sunday. In the first game, the Rangers got on the board first with a goal from Sean Sullivan to put them up 1-0 after the 1st period. The boys would go on to score the next 3 unanswered to go up 4-0 with credit going to Tim Rye, Ariel Kapulkin, and Danila Larionovs. The Little Flyers would fight back and grab a pair of goals at the end of the 2nd period, but in the final frame, Nolan Shaw got the lone goal of the period giving his team the 5-2 victory. Dean Kern made 23 saves in the win, which brought his record to a perfect 4-0-0 on the season.
Turning over to Sunday, the Little Flyers came back to Breakaway Ice Center for an afternoon matchup with the Rangers. The game consisted of a lot of back and forth action from both sides with the Rangers leading 3-2 nearing the end of final period. However, for the 2nd time this season, the Rangers lost the lead in the final minute of play as Little Flyers forward, Joe Marcella, scored to force overtime. The Little Flyers would go on to score on a scum in front of the net to win the game by a final of 4-3. Despite the overtime loss, the EHLP Rangers were able to squeeze out 3 points this past weekend against a tough South Conference opponent.
The EHL team has a very quiet week coming up with only one game on the road against the Total Athletic Seahawks this afternoon. The Rangers have played the Seahawks already once this year, beating them 4-3 in overtime.
The EHLP squad also only has one matchup this week, as they welcome the Vermont Lumberjacks to town on Sunday afternoon.