Friday, February 02, 2007

Rangers head to Alpena tonight

The Marquette Rangers hit the road this morning, traveling to this weekend’s series against the Alpena IceDiggers.

The Rangers have won five of their last nine games and have gone into overtime twice, improving their overall record to 16-21-4.

“The team did a great job against a good hockey club (last) Friday (in beating Alpena)," head coach Randy Enders said. "We wanted to go out work hard, limit their opportunities, and finish on ours; that’s what the guys did. Our power-play needed to score and it did, our penalty kill needed to challenge their power play and it killed off eight out of nine and above all, we needed to be gritty and tough and that’s what happened in the third. The line of (Nick) Kosinski, (James) Gallagher and (Chris) Smith came through again, along with a good performance by Matt Brooker in the net.

“Weekend series against Alpena are always exciting. We’ve prepared all week and are ready to play against a team that we’re building a good rivalry with. Our guys know what we need to do be successful and it’s just a matter of learning to be consistent. We had a great game Friday and there is nothing that leads me to believe we can’t expect to see that again this weekend. We have had many close games and they are always hard-fought ones. We will look to build on the things that were successful against them last weekend in our Friday night win and eliminate the mistakes that hurt us on Saturday."

Brodie Zuk continues to lead the Rangers in scoring with 37 points in 37 games played with Kosinski barely trailing with the same total, but in 41 games. Neeco Belanger has amassed 30 points, while Nic Weight and Jake Hauswirth each have 22.

Next weekend, the Rangers host Traverse City for a three-day weekend series. The games Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. will lead up to the Pigs-N-Heat charity game and skating with the Rangers Sunday at 1 p.m. Youth hockey players wearing their team jersey will receive free admission into the game and can skate with the Rangers immediately following. Half of all ticket sales will go toward the Pigs-N-Heat organization as well as 100 percent profit from a silent auction that will contain items such as an Alexander Ovechkin autographed picture, Steve Yzerman official autographed jersey, Brett Favre autographed helmet, items from Richardson jewelers and much more.

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