Thursday, April 01, 2010

Rangers prepare for Metal Jackets

Fresh off a three-game weekend where the Marquette Rangers secured their first-ever North American Hockey League North Division regular season title, the Rangers now host their first playoff games since 2007 this Friday and Saturday at Lakeview Arena against the Motor City Metal Jackets.

The best-of-five series moves to downstate Trenton for games three and four and game five, if necessary, would be back in Marquette at the Berry Events Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

Marquette enters their playoff series against the No. 4 seed Metal Jackets as the top seed in the North Division.

“The great thing is that we have some momentum coming in to the series,” Rangers head coach Kenny Miller said. “It’s a fresh start for some of the guys who may have been struggling. Plus, it’s a chance for the guys we have playing well to take their game to another level. Needless to say, our guys are excited to get going and see what kind of a run we can make in the playoffs.”

Miller said he’s pleased with his team’s progress this year and is anxious to see how his players react to the situation at hand.

“It’s a brand-new season, so we need to be focused on preparing all week for a very good team in Motor City,” said Miller. “If our leaders play well and we keep our heads about ourselves, I like our chances. It’s the little things that may make the difference though in a series like this. We might need a goal from our fourth line. We’ve already had to replace our starting goaltender. You never know how these games are going to go, so all 20 guys on the ice need to be ready to contribute.”

The Rangers and the Metal Jackets played 10 games during the regular season and the Rangers went 6-4 against Motor City, including 2-2 at Lakeview Arena.

Rangers forwards Andrew Kolb and Garrett Ladd finished the regular season as the No. 4 and No.5 scorers in the league scoring race, while teammate Tanner Kero finished as the top goal scorer in the league with 32 on the season. Kolb scored 65 points on 24 goals and 41 assists, while Ladd added 63 points from 23 goals and 40 helpers on the year.

The Rangers’ games this Friday and Saturday at Lakeview begin at 7:30 p.m.

No comments: