Friday, March 02, 2007

Rangers eyeing NAHL playoffs

The Marquette Rangers took to the road yesterday afternoon on their way to a three-game weekend in Boardman, Ohio, facing off against the leading team in the NAHL, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms.

During the Phantoms’ visit to Marquette in December, the Rangers successfully rallied in putting an end to Mahoning Valley ’s 19-game unbeaten streak. Now, the Rangers are looking to tally points after being defeated by the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 team last weekend.

Since the new year, the Rangers have improved their overall record to 20-27-4. Hopefully, the wins didn’t start too late in the season, as the Rangers are now vying for a playoff position and chance at the Robertson Cup championship.

“The points are even more important now as playoff positioning unfolds," said Marquette head coach Randy Enders. "We know to beat the Phantoms our special teams will play a huge role and we need to limit their power-play opportunities and capitalize on ours. Our guys are prepared to come out and play hard, especially knowing what’s at stake."

Nick Kosinski continues to be a strong leader for the Rangers not only as the leading Rangers’ scorer with 44 points in 50 games, but is currently ranked 26 out of over 450 players in the NAHL. Brodie Zuk just trails as 33rd in the league with 43 points in 44 games played. Neeco Belanger has amassed 39 points, while Nic Weight has tallied 32 and Jake Hauswirth 30. Out of the top 100 scoring leaders in the NAHL, six of them are Rangers.

The Rangers return home launching an eight-game home series next Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. Events and activities are being planned to wrap up the Rangers’ inaugural season with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations March 17, parents and billet families being honored the weekend of the 23rd and an array of events for the whole family continuing to the final game on April 1.

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