TEWKSBURY, MA -- It was a busy weekend for the Rangers organization as both the EHL and EHLP teams each hit the ice for 3 games apiece. The EHL team went 2-1-0 on the weekend, which was good enough to propel them into 1st place in the Boston Division. The EHLP squad took care of business this past weekend, winning all 3 of their games by a combined scored of 15-7. The 3 wins gives the EHLP team a record of 11-1-2, which is good for 2nd place in the North Conference, just 2 points back of the Vermont Lumberjacks.
"That was a nearly perfect weekend for our organization," said EHL head coach and general manger Rich DeCaprio. "It would have been 100% perfect if we had made it 6 for 6, but 5 of 6 is what we needed in the final weekend before our next respective showcases. Both teams have 1 game this week prior to the showcase weekend, so it's important for our players to stay focused, 1 shift at a time."
On Friday afternoon, the Rangers traveled to Bedford for game #1 of the home-and-home series against the East Coast Wizards. After a scoreless 1st period, Bobby Kinsey got the Rangers on the board just under 5 minutes into the 2nd frame. The Wizards would get 1 back at the end of the period to knot the game up at 1-1 going into the 3rd. The Captain, Damien Dangueuger, scored on a blast from the point just under 2 minutes into the frame to give the Rangers the lead in the final frame. However, the Wizards would quickly answer a couple minutes later to tie the game back up at 2. An interference penalty on the Wizards gave the Rangers a power play with 8:22 remaining in the game, and a chance for the newest member of the Rangers, Filip Steussloff. The Swede gave his team the lead again, and would later add an empty netter to seal a 4-2 victory for his team. Between the pipes, Nolan Egbert made 37 saves in the win.
The very next day the Rangers hosted the Wizards for the back end of the home-and-home series. The boys fell behind in the first 2 periods as they trailed 3-1 going into the 3. They would fight back to make it a 1-goal game, but an empty-netter ended the thought of a comeback and the Rangers would fall 5-3 to the Wizards, despite outshooting them 37-31. Dangueuger tallied his 2nd goal of the weekend, while Tyler Gardiner and Ryan Tierney picked up the other goals in the loss.
To end a busy weekend, the Rangers hosted the Walpole Express on Sunday night, looking to bounce back from Saturday's loss. The Express would get on the board first, but the Rangers answered at the end of the period with a power play goal from Zach Norby. The forward continued to put in work on the power play, as Norby put the Rangers ahead 2-1, just14 minutes into the 2nd period. The Rangers would dominate the final frame with goals from Steusslof, Andrew Keith, and Jake Cagnina to win the game by a final of 5-1. Ben Parker got the nod in net and made 32 saves in the win, bringing his record up to 4-1-0 on the year.
On Friday, the EHLP squad traveled up to Haverhill to face-off against the Valley Jr. Warriors for the first time this season. Donnie Shaw and Matt McPherson put the Rangers up 2-0 in the 1st and they didn't look back from there. The boys would win the next frame 3-0, with goals from Danilia Larionovs, Tim Rye, and Cam Mackenzie. The Warriors would get a couple back in the 3rd period, but it wasn't enough as the Rangers went on to win by the final of 5-2.
On Saturday, the Rangers welcomed the New Jersey 87’s to town for the first of 2 games. Will Roberts got the boys on the board in the 1st period with a power-play goal. The Rangers would score the next 2 goals as well to make it a 3-0 game at the halfway point. The 87’s would get a couple goals back, but it wasn't enough as the Rangers went on to win the game by a score of 3-2. Dean Kern made 29 saves in the win, to improve his perfect record up to 7-0-0 for season.
The 2 teams went at it again the very next day in an afternoon affair. The Rangers would score the first 5 goals of the game as last month’s TSR Hockey Player of the Month, Larionovs, had picked up a hat-trick by the 13-minute mark of the 2nd period. Steve Wesley and Cam Mackenzie had the other 2 Rangers goals, as they led 5-1 after 2 periods. Wesley would tally another goal in the final frame followed up by a goal from Roberts, as the Rangers wold go on to win the game by a final of 7-3, and sweep the season series with the 87s.
Looking ahead to this upcoming week, and the EHL squad will first head up to Laconia on Wednesday for an evening matchup against the New England Wolves. After the mid-week battle, the Rangers will go up against the Philadelphia Little Flyers and the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers at the November Showcase in Haverhill (Sunday and Monday).
The EHLP squad on the other hand will play the Valley Jr. Warriors in Haverhill on Friday, and then host the 2nd EHLP showcase of the season on Sunday and Monday at Breakaway Ice Center. On Sunday, the EHLP team will look to avenge the early season overtime loss as they will go up against the 1st place Philadelphia Jr. Flyers at 3:50pm. The Rangers will turn around and play the New York Applecore at 1:10pm on Monday.