TEWKSBURY, MA -- It's officially hockey season, and the Boston Junior Rangers are back. This year, the Rangers will once again have teams in both the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and Eastern Hockey League (EHLP), each with their minds set on returning to Providence College. It was at Schneider Arena where the EHL team saw their season come to an end, and the EHLP team won another championship.
"Looking back, those were obviously 2 very different endings for our teams this past year," said Rangers EHL head coach and general manager Rich DeCaprio. "While things definitely didn't end the way we wanted them to for our EHL team, that group still has a lot to be proud of. On the other end, the EHLP team was in the title game for the 3rd straight season, and we have a little dynasty in the making now having won 2 of the first 3 EHLP titles."
As DeCaprio mentioned, the EHL team reached the EHL Frozen Finals this past March, but things didn't go as hoped in Providence. It was still a record-breaking season for the Rangers though, as over 15 players from the EHL team will be kicking-off their collegiate hockey careers this Fall. With that much turnover it does put pressure on the coach to reload the roster for the next season, but DeCaprio is feeling confident in his top group, led by a core of 6 returning players.
As for the EHLP team, their biggest loss will likely be Ryan Blair, the 2017-18 Coach of the Year. Blair recently accepted a new position with UMass Lowell, and the Rangers would like to wish their former coach the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Moving forward, the Rangers are lucky to have a solid replacement, as Keith Aucoin will be taking over as the new EHLP Head Coach. It's a best case scenario for the Rangers, but even Aucoin can admit the pressure is on.
"I'm really looking forward to helping the kids get better every day, and pass on what I’ve learned over the past 20 years of my career both on and off the ice," said Aucoin. "This organization has had a lot of success over the past few seasons, and Blairsy was a big reason why. I am hoping to make a similar impact with both teams."
As we officially turn the page for the new season, the Rangers' EHL team will get started tonight when they host the Lehigh Valley Junior Rebels at 7:40pm. On the flip side, the EHLP will kick-off their season next weekend in New Jersey against the 87s.
View this year's team rosters and schedules.
EHL Roster -- EHL Schedule
EHLP Roster -- EHLP Schedule
Ben Parker ('98) is back for his third season with the Rangers, and second at the top level. Parker won 12 games last year for the Rangers' EHL team.