Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rangers home for three big games

The Marquette Rangers face what could possibly be the biggest weekend in their four-year history when they play host to Alpena this Thursday and Traverse City on Friday and Saturday.

Marquette needs points to overtake Traverse City in the North American Hockey League North Division race with less than a month to go in the regular season. The North Stars lead Marquette by a single point heading into the weekend.

The weekend's first opponent, Alpena, currently sits in the bottom of the division, but the IceDiggers have proven to be no pushover for the Rangers this season. Alpena swept the Rangers in two games last weekend at Northern Lights Arena in Alpena, 5-0 and 4-3 in a shootout.

Thursday will be the final meeting between the Rangers and Alpena, Marquette leads the season series, 8-4.

Traverse City and Marquette will get their first chance of many to settle things this weekend as six of the final 10 regular season games will pit the two rivals against one another. Adding to the Rangers' concerns during March are the remaining four games, all against third place Janesville who trails Marquette by only three points in the division race heading into this weekend.

The Jets play fourth place Motor City in suburban Detroit Friday and Saturday.

Garrett Ladd leads Marquette in scoring with 52 points on 17 goals and 35 assists, while Hancock native Tanner Kero continues to lead the team, as well as the entire NAHL, in goal production with 29.

All three games at Lakeview Arena start at 7:30 p.m.


Fans attending any of the three games this weekend will be given plenty of opportunities to win one of several prizes provided by advertising partners of the team.

Thursday night is “Give Me Gas Night,” courtesy of Holiday Station Stores in the central U.P. When the puck drops at 7:30, someone in attendance will be guaranteed a $50 Holiday gas card. For every goal the Rangers score, another $50 card will be added to the giveaway - up to $300. The winner must be present at the end of the game to collect their prize.

Friday, the Rangers celebrate “Fan Appreciation Night,” where kids will receive free Rangers mini-sticks while they last. There will be other specials available during the evening at Lakeview Arena.

Saturday, someone in attendance is guaranteed a flat-screen TV in the Rangers final “Celebrity Goalie Contest.” When fans enter the arena, they will be asked to put their name on a slip of paper, then place it in one of 10 numbered buckets as their guess as to how many saves the celebrity goalie will make.

Saturday’s “celebrity” will be the first female of the year as Amy Clickner, Executive Director of The Lake Superior Community Partnership, has agreed to don the pads and try to stop 10 shots fired at her by selected shooters during the first intermission.

The drawing for the television will take place at the end of the game, and again, the winner must be present to win.

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