Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rangers scheduled for three straight

For the third consecutive week, the Marquette Rangers will play a three-game set in North American Hockey League North Division play.

The Rangers travel to take on Traverse City Monday and Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena before returning home to host Alpena at Lakeview Arena Wednesday evening.

Marquette leads the North Division by two points over Traverse City and Janesville heading into the weekend. Janesville is idle until January 2-3 when they travel to Alpena to battle the IceDiggers.

Being in first-place has several obvious advantages for the club. It also brings with it added opportunities for members of this years’ team as Marquette will send six players to this season’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.

This year’s event, which annually attracts over 100 college and professional coaches and scouts, will be held January 18-20 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, and will again feature all-star teams from the NAHL's Central, North, South and West Divisions competing in a three-game, round-robin tournament.The number of invites each team gets to Top Prospects is based on each team’s winning percentage as of December 20, with higher percentages translating into more representation.

The NAHL will announce the rosters, which will be comprised of 20 players each, on Tuesday.

“It's quite an honor for our entire organization to be where we’re at in the standings heading into the holiday break,” said Rangers head coach Kenny Miller. “Although only a handful of our guys will play in the event, every player from our club deserves credit for this accomplishment.

“I’m proud of all our guys, the coaching staff and the support staff we have in place for their hard work up to this point in the season.”

With two current Rangers committed to Division I schools, Miller is confident Top Prospects will open a lot more doors for a handful of his deserving student-athletes.

“Because this event is so popular with the college scouts, it’ll be a great opportunity for our players to showcase their talents,” said Miller who will also coach the North Division at the event.

Marquette continues to be led in scoring by captain Garrett Ladd (12-19--31) and Andrew Kolb (13-17--30).

Kolb photo by RJ Meyer/NAHL

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