Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marquette hosts Janesville Friday night

There’s an old saying in sports that says “getting to first place is the easy part, staying in first place is much more difficult.”

The Marquette Rangers will get their first chance to stay in first place in the North American Hockey League North Division race this Friday as they host the Janesville Jets at Lakeview Arena.

Marquette and Traverse City top the division with 56 points each. Janesville is in third and Motor City is fourth with Alpena a distant fifth

The climb into first place has actually been anything but easy for Kenny Miller’s club as the team has played only five home games since the first of the year. However, the team has managed to go 9-4 in that stretch with road sweeps against Albert Lea of the Central Division and Motor City, as well as a key split at Janesville three weeks ago.

Marquette has also gone 4-1 in their five home games at Lakeview Arena since January 1. On the season, the Rangers are 17-5 on home ice.

In the process, the Rangers have also broken the franchise record for wins in the season with 28 so far, topping the old total of 26 wins set in both 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Marquette has 14 games left in the regular season, including this Friday’s matchup with Janesville.

In six games this season between the two clubs, Janesville holds a 4-2 advantage against Marquette.

The Rangers are led in scoring by Andrew Kolb’s 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists) with Garrett Ladd right behind at 50 points on 17 goals and 33 assists. Newcomer Jimmy McCusker has been a significant factor offensively for the club since coming to Marquette in a trade with Alpena. In five games, the fourth-year forward has scored five goals to accompany three assists since becoming a Ranger.

Friday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m.

Kolb photo by RJ Meyer/NAHL

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