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CJHL Hockey
Rangers make playoffs with season finale win over Brockville
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Gloucester Rangers have made the playoffs for the first time in two years after downing the Brockville Braves 4-1 in their final regular season game Friday night.

The Rangers were trailing the Kanata Stallions by a point for the eighth and final playoff spot and needed a win over the fourth place Braves to get into the post season. A point by way of an overtime loss or shootout loss would not have been enough because the Stallions had the edge in a tiebreaker situation with more wins.

With their playoffs hopes at stake and starting netminder Francis Dupuis still on the sidelines, the Rangers went with call-up goalie Morgan Hudson against the Braves who decided to sit out seven of their regular starters.

Hudson was nothing short of spectatular in net, stopping all 30 shots he faced through the first two periods. The only shot that got by him was called back on a hand pass.

After a scoreless first period, the Rangers’ Jamie Begin scored just 25 seconds into the second stanza on a pass from Corey Frizell and Brandon Edge.

The rest of the period was pretty much all Brockville as the Braves peppered Hudson with 20 shots. They finally beat the Gloucester goalie at the 4:36 mark of the third when Stephen Bird converted a pass from Nathan Slack.

The Braves continued to outshoot the Rangers by a margin of 2:1, but it was the Rangers that managed to break the tie on a goal by Jason McCarthy at the 6:10 mark of the final period.

Nick Vidoni then gave the Rangers some much needed breathing room with a goal three minutes later that was set up by Jamie Collins and Eric Clitsome.

Hudson and the Rangers defensive corps continued to keep the Braves at bay through the rest of the period until Edge salted the game away with an empty net goal with 12 seconds left on the clock.

Hudson was full measure for the win stopping 38 of 39 shots to pick the first star of the game honours.

The Rangers must now prepare for a first round match-up against the league leading Nepean Raiders who they were 4-2 against during the regular season including a pair of lopsided losses in their final two meetings.

It will be a tall order indeed against a Raiders team that has only lost four times at home this season, including a pair of shootout losses, and has scored a league leading 261 times.

The two teams open the playoffs on Sunday at the Nepean Sportsplex. Game time is 2:30 p.m.

In other action on Friday the Cumberland Grads warmed up for their opening round match-up against the Ottawa Jr. Senators by laying a 10-6 licking on the Hawkesbury Hawks.

Matt Miller, Marc-Andre Labelle and David Pacan each had a pair of goals for the Grads while Jeffrey Clarke, Kevin Lough, Mathieu Ouellette and Daniel Sauve had a goal apiece.

(Posted 7:30 a.m., March 7)

 

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