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(Posted 10:30 a.m., Feb. 9)
Gloucester Rangers White team clinches Major Bantam AA banner

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

It what turned out to be the most competitive division in the Ontario East Minor Hockey League, the Gloucester Rangers White team has clinched the Major Bantam AA OEMHL regular season banner thanks to a 3-1 over the Eastern Ontario Cobras on Saturday.

Only one point separated the top three teams heading into the final week. The Kanata Blazers occupied first place with 39 points, while the Rangers and Ottawa Sting sat one point back in a tie for second.

The Rangers, however, had a game in hand which they would need to clinch the banner, but first they had to beat Blazers which they did in convincing fashion, winning 7-3 last Wednesday.

The win allowed them to leap frog Kanata into a tie for first place with the Sting who had beaten Eastern Ontario the night before.

The job for the Rangers on Saturday was simple, beat or tie the Cobras and finish in first place. A loss would have relegated them to second with one fewer victory than the Sting.

After getting off to a slow start in which they allowed the Cobras to score the first goal, the Rangers answered back with one in the first and two in the second to register the 3-1 win.

Nicholas Raponi de Roia got the Rangers on the board in the first with his 17th goal of the season, and then Jamie Ryan and Alex Robert scored just over a minute apart in the second to seal the deal. It was Ryan's ninth goal of the season and Robert's 17th.

The Rangers won't have much time to enjoy their accomplishment. They start their quest for a post season championship on Tuesday when they face the eighth place Rideau St. Lawrence Kings in the opening round of the playoffs.

Team roster: Alex Robert, Michael Heckbert, Luigi Peloso, Quentin Jolly, Marc Brosseau, Martin Lavigne, Quinn McGillis, Nicholas Raponi De Roia, Jamie Ryan, Maxwell Renic, Martin Laframboise, Noah Simpson, Samuel Stewart, Greg Love, Jack Lutzko, Ryan Whitehurst and Jonathan Labbe..

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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