Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rangers off to NAHL Showcase

The Kenny Miller era officially begins this week for the Marquette Rangers as the team heads to Blaine, Minn., for four games in the annual North American Hockey League Showcase.

After a two-week training camp featuring both on and off ice training, the first-year Rangers coach says he’s optimistic about the first part of the season.

“We had two good weeks of training camp,” Miller said. “I think the guys are ready to start league play and to get going on the season, and from what I’ve seen, I think we’re going to be just fine heading into the Showcase.”

Marquette opens play against the North Iowa Outlaws Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m. Last year, the Rangers opened the Showcase against the Outlaws and skated away with a 4-3 shootout win en route to a 3-1 Showcase record.

Despite wanting a fast start again this season, Miller added that the Showcase won’t make or break the season for his team.

“Obviously we want to go in there and play well and get some confidence coming into our home opener, but the real value of the event is getting our guys in front of all the college programs who will be there watching,” Miller added. “We’ll do all the necessary things we need to do to win, but we’re certainly not putting the entire season on one four-game tournament.”

In addition to facing the Outlaws, Marquette also plays the Topeka Roadrunners Thursday afternoon and Friday, they’ll play the Owatonna (Minn.) Express before wrapping up the four-game set with the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday morning.

All Rangers games from the NAHL Showcase will be available with streaming video and audio through B2 Networks by accessing the team website.

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