AA Rangers clinch first place with win over Jr. Grads
Jr. Grads goalie Breant Nolan peers over his
shoulder into the back of the net on Andrew
Bourke's game winning goal in the Gloucester
Rqangers 5-4 win over the Jr. Grads Wednesday
night. Fred Sherwin/Photo
losing in the final of the International Silver Stick
Tournament in Port Huron, Michigan on the weekend, the
Major Bantam AA Gloucester Rangers rebounded to clinch
first place in the Ontario East Minor Hockey League with
an exciting 5-4 win over the Cumberland Jr. Grads Wednesday
Bourke was the hero of the hour, scoring three goals,
including the game winner with just under a minute left
in the third period, to propel his team to victory.
Jessome and Justin Brennan scored the team's other two
goals, while Aiden Cannell had two goals for the Jr. Grads
who also got goals from Billy Denham and Suraj Bali.
Rangers went into the game needing a win or a tie to clinch
first place. The Jr. Grads trailed the Rangers by two
points with two games left against each other.
being outplayed in the early going, the Jr. Grads drew
first blood when Denham skated out from the corner and
slid a shot past Rangers goaltender Ben MacDonald at the
7:05 mark of the first period.
Rangers responded two minutes later when Bourke managed
to squeeze a shot between Jr. Grads netminder Brent Nolan's
left pad and the left goal post.
gave the Rangers their first lead of the game on a shot
that appeared to deflect off Nolan's blocker into the
side of the net
less than two minutes left in the opening period, Rangers
forward Alyn MacLennan was sent off with a double minor
for butt-ending. Gloucester's penelty-killing did a good
job keeping the Jr. Grads power play at bay until Cannell
scored on what looked like a harmless slapshot from just
inside the blueline with 1.7 seconds left.
Rangers retook the lead at the 12:35 mark of the second
period when Bourke managed to tuck the puck it under a
Jr. Grads tied the game at three goals a piece with 5:19
left in the period when Baji was assessed a penalty shot
after breing brought down on a breakaway.
game remained tied until the 5:16 mark of the third period
when Brennan scored on a slap shot from the right point
that beat Nolan stick side.
Jr. Grads tied the game just under a minute later when
a long rebound came out to Cannell who buried it into
the back of the net on a shot from the high slot.
game appeared to be heading for a tie when Bourke completed
his hat trick on a shot that eluded Nolan's trapper. After
the win, the Rangers posed for pictures with the first
head coach Tim Oshier was glad his team took care of business
when they had the chance. Now they can focus on finishing
out the rest of the season and focusing on the playoffs
which start next weekend.
think we have a good chance (of winning the championship).
If we play our game and focus on the things that brought
us here," said Oshier.
the biggest thing the Rangers have going for them is their
health. After battling injuries all season long they are
finally healthy, or at least they will be when Jeremy
Barrie returns to the lineup on the weekend after sitting
out with a broken collar bone.
Gloucester Rangers pose for a picture with
the championship banner after clinching first
plance in the OEMHL Wednesday night. Fred
7:30 a.m., Feb. 2)
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