Monday, February 09, 2009

Busy weekend with the Rangers ahead

Fans will see a few unique items this weekend when the Marquette Rangers face North Division-leading Mahoning Valley Thursday through Saturday at Lakeview Arena.

For starters, this will be the Phantoms' only appearance in Marquette this season, barring playoffs.

Secondly, the team has joined with Hoover’s Auto Body of Marquette for a NASCAR themed weekend for fans to enjoy. The team will don special “racing style” jerseys (pictured) for their three-game tilt, with fans having the opportunity to bid on their favorite player's jersey in a silent auction to be held during Saturday’s game.

“We wanted to do something truly unique,” said Rangers spokesman Mark Evans. “Knowing how big racing has become around the area, this just seemed like a real winner to our organization. Hoover’s has been one of our top sponsors this season and they jumped at the chance to be a part of the weekend by sponsoring the jerseys. We’re looking forward to three very exciting games weekend with both the jerseys and the prizes and specials we’re offering our fans.”

In addition to the jerseys, the Rangers will also be offering a racing prize package at Friday’s game. Included in the package are two tickets to the upcoming Sprint Cup Race at Michigan International Speedway on June 14. In addition, the winner will also receive racing apparel from Ford, plus a garage tour of the MIS prior to the start of the race. The only requirement is that the winner must be 18 years of age or older.

Adding to the three-game tilt is the teams’ participation in "Hockey Day In Michigan" on Saturday. To celebrate the sport, the team will offer a discount to all Marquette Junior Hockey Corporation players who wear their game jerseys to Lakeview Saturday night. Those players will get in to Lakeview Saturday for $3 instead of the usual student price of $7 as long as they’re in their jersey.

Not lost on the weekend is the importance of the three games and the importance of the weekend.

With 43 points, the Rangers trail the U.S. National Team Development Program by two points for fourth place and Alpena by six points for third place in the North Division standings. Only the top four teams in the division will advance the NAHL playoffs.

So far, the Rangers have played the Phantoms three times in Boardman, Ohio, and sport a 2-1 record against the North Division's top team.

All three games this weekend start at 7:30 p.m.

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