The Kitchener Jr Rangers MD Red team achieved their season
long goal and became the 2017-18 Alliance Champions with a 4 to 3 win over the
defending champions, the West London Hawks.
The Rangers were the Stratford Early Bird Champions, the Cambridge MD Festival Champions, the Tier 1 MD East/Central Regular Season Champions, the Tier 1 MD East/Central Playoff Champions and the Tier 1 MD East/Central Alliance Champions as well as Finalists in the Guelph Power Play Championships.
The Rangers displayed admirable determination in the game after falling behind 2 to 0 early in the game. The Rangers called a time out and spoke about how they would turn the page and play determined hockey and start winning their battles. The team responded and in the 2nd period held the Hawks to no shots on net but more importantly, started to play Rangers hockey and generate offense.
Jacob Reid-Brant scored his 41st goal of the season to amp up his team and cut the lead in half. His goal was assisted by Nicholas Zammit. Zammit then set up the equalizer with Yianni Pappas when Kailum Belanic scored. Then the Rangers took their first lead in the game when Aydan Costello scored his 20th goal on the season from Keenan Hack and Kodi Blackshaw. The assist was also Blackshaw’s 20th assist on the season. Hack was a pitbull all game for the Rangers and established himself as a top defender for the Rangers.
The Hawks tied the game but Zammit added a goal to his two assists and the hard-working Ranger earned the championship winning goal!! Reid-Brant had the assist on the winner.
The Rangers were Resilient. All season the team responded when faced with adversity. Red was the team to beat and the players worked and trained extremely hard. The team had 92 practices and training sessions in the season to go along with 66 games played.
The Rangers defense played better and better as the game went on and players like Noah Park stepped up big for the team. In fact, many players rose to the occasion and played some of their best hockey. Logan Hock, Connor Coughlin and Jacob Fisher were the teams “energy” line and created havoc in both the semi and final games. Daniel Gubbels was extremely effective in breaking up plays and playing a solid two-way game. Carter Niall killed close to 40 secs in the end of the game to secure the win and Ryan McConnell was used in every situation possible and never let his team down. Braxton Mathews came into the game to spark the team into playing better. Mathews made key saves and helped rally his team. The third period was Mathews best period and he shut the door despite the Hawks throwing everything possible at the net.
The Rangers received some amazing cheering from some amazing parents. But, one person stuck out to his teammates the most, Ethan Lafleur. Lafleur was the definition of “All In” by attending all the team’s games and functions while injured and being there for his teams on the mental side of the game. Aiden Radatus also supported his team and was an instrumental part in the team’s success this season.
Words can’t describe the pride the coaches felt in watching their players achieve their goals and reach the fruits of their labours. Kudos to each and every one of the players on being a huge part of an amazing team. And THANK YOU to every parent for entrusting our coaching staff with your players development.
It has been an honour.