Parkland looking to make a statement on first road trip
Fresh off a challenging weekend at home against a tough Eastman Selects squad, the Parkland Rangers are facing two more tough games this weekend. Saturday afternoon the Rangers will get their first look at the defending MU18AAA champion Winnipeg Wild before a Sunday matinee with the Interlake Lightning. The two games will give the Rangers their first opportunity to bond on the road and a chance to rebound from last weekend’s disappointing finish.
Saturday at 4:15 the Hockey For All Centre the Rangers will be in a dog fight with Coach Paul Kruger’s perennial contenders, the Wild. The Wild have seen some significant roster turnover this season, but the talent level will undoubtedly remain undiminished. Gino Cotroneo, Seth Clements Wyatt Dyck presently lead the Wild in scoring with two points apiece through their opening pair of games. Despite being 0-2 to start the campaign, the Wild played both the Brandon Wheat Kings and Eastman tough in a pair of 4-2 losses. Smooth-skating Ranger defencemen Nathan Miller, Ryder Gardner and Ethan McMullan will be key components to the game plan as they look to slow down the speedy Wild forwards. Cash McCallum and Ryzlie Nepinak will be expected to bring their physical play to the table to disrupt the Wild’s breakout and generate turnovers. As always, the special teams will be key for Parkland and may be the ticket to a road upset.
Sunday’s game pits the Rangers against the Interlake Lightning in the Teulon-Rockwood Arena at 1:30 pm. The Rangers will need to keep a close eye on the trio of Brandon Burak, Morgan Waddell and Ian Buors if they hope to come away with a positive result. Cam Sarna, Tavyn Boychuk and Linden Smigelsky will play key roles in forcing those highly talented Lightning forwards to play in their own end throughout the game. Like the Rangers, Interlake is a young team that is carrying a large number of rookies this winter so a key battle may be between the handful of veteran players each squad boasts. Three year vets Hayden Seib and Cash Clarkson possess the kind of ability to tilt games into the Rangers favour. The fiery Andrew Pidskalny will be an important cog on the back end for Parkland in the hostile environment in Teulon.
Rangers Ramblings: The Rangers rounded out their leadership group for the 2023-24 season with Pidskalny, Seib and Maddox Shindle serving as alternates to Captain Sam Swanton… The Brandon Wheat Kings recently received news that both Easton Odut and Jaxon Jacobsen had been returned to the MBU18AAA team by their WHL namesake… Rookie Quentin Fisk is presently tied for fourth in the MBU18AAA goal scoring race with a pair of tallys… Former Ranger Luke Decorby was recently named captain of the SIJHL’s Red Lake Miners… Former Ranger Skyler Carriere has scored three times in six appearances for the 4-2-0 Miners… All the MBU18AAA action is available to stream this season at www.flohockey.tv…