Tewksbury, MA - “We let last year’s championship settle in for a little while, but we very quickly got back down to business again,” said veteran Jack Karges. “Our title defense starts now.”
As the intense training camp comes to a close, it is apparent that the reigning EHL Champions are hungry to get back onto the ice. The Rangers officially began their road to back-to-back titles on August 25, 2021. The public were given a glimpse into the on-ice and off-ice training as well as their scrimmages against the New Hampshire Avalanche.
There’s no doubt that the Rangers will be faced with adversity this season. The obvious is that Boston has close to an entirely new roster. With only a handful of returners, five to be exact, the pressure is felt by the veterans to set the tone. Mark Meineke is one of the only defensemen returning from the championship team. “The chemistry is there already,” Meineke explained. “We knew that we were going to lose those big players when they went off to school, so we brought in the right guys to carry the torch.” One of the strongest attributes of the 2020 team was the defensive core. The powerhouse, led by players Jackson Legro and Tommy Carr, left very big skates to fill this season. The coaching staff seem to be very confident in the new guys to fill the gaps.
There is a lot of credit to be given to GM and Head Coach, Rich DeCaprio. “Coach Decaprio has been heavily recruiting and making certain to bring in the best players on and off the ice to ensure that we can repeat last year’s success,” said Karges. Throughout his many years of coaching and recruiting, DeCaprio has become adept at adjusting the playbook according to what he does or doesn’t have. What could be looked at as a tremendous challenge to others, Coach looks at it as an opportunity. “Being defending champions for the first time definitely puts a little more pressure on rebuilding a championship team,” Rich DeCaprio explained. “I feel we have a similar team to last year.”
The other biggest contrast between this year and last year is the schedule. Boston will be facing some unfamiliar faces early on in the 2021-2022 season. For the first time in two years the Rangers will meet Southern and Northern conference opponents in the regular season. “Our mindset is the same no matter who we’re playing,” Karges said. “It will be exciting to play new teams this year, but the best thing we can do to prepare for these upcoming challenges is to make sure we’re in the best shape possible as a team to handle any obstacles that come our way.”
After “Finishing Business” last year with a monumental win in overtime and some championship hardware to prove it, the team has a new motto this season. “One’s Not Enough” will be the three words enforced by the Rangers’ EHL team. It serves as a reminder of what has already been accomplished in the red, white and blue sweaters. It also provides motivation for the hand selected players that have been chosen to represent BJR this season. “We have the opportunity to do something really special with the group we have this year,” said returning forward Adam Zukowski. “I plan to do everything in my power to repeat.”
The Rangers’ first game will take place in Exeter, New Hampshire as they face the Seacoast Spartans for Friday night ice on September 17, 2021.
TEWKSBURY, MA -- The Boston Junior Rangers are pleased to announce that Ethan Heidepriem has committed to Skidmore College for the fall of 2021. The 2000-born native of Findlay, OH joined the Rangers for the stretch run in early February, and he scored a pair of big playoff goals helping Boston claim their first-ever EHL Championship.
TEWKSBURY, MA -- We are a little over three days removed from the conclusion of the 2021 EHL Frozen Finals. The marquee event of the year for the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) did not disappoint last week in West Chester, PA. Despite dropping their first game of the week to the Vermont Lumberjacks, the Boston Jr. Rangers battled their way back with three straight victories, including an overtime win in the 2021 EHL Championship Game.