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(Posted 5:30 p.m., Jan. 2)
Rangers defend Bell Capital Cup Minor Atom AA title
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

For the second year in a row, a Gloucester Rangers team has won the Minor Atom AA championship at the Bell Capital Cup.

The Rangers Minor Atom White team managed to accomplish that unique feat with a 1-0 win over the Toronto Eagles at the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.

The Rangers went into the final sporting a 4-0-1 record, including a 3-1 win over the Eagles in the round robin portion of the tournament. After losing to the Rangers, the Eagles won their next two games to set up Friday's rematch.

The Gloucester Rangers Minor Atom White team pose with the championship trophy and banner after winning the Bell Capital Cup Minor Atom AA final on Friday. Photo supplied

The Rangers generated the lion's share of the scoring chances through the first two periods, while limiting the Eagles to very little. On the one opportunity they did get with 3:49 left to go in the second, Rangers goalie Kian Hodgens stood his ground and made the save.

The Rangers goal came at the 8:41 mark of the first period. Dylan Mitchell's initial shot somehow squeaked through the pads of Eagles' netminder Joshua Bullock. The puck came to rest just inches from the goal line where a quick-thinking Adrien Mitchell managed to tap it into the open net.

Things got a little intense for the Rangers late in the third period when Xavier Beauchamp was sent off for hooking with 2:24 left to go. Despite playing a man down, they managed to keep the Eagles at bay and held on for the 1-0 win.

After the game, Rangers head coach Chris Glover said he had every confidence his team would be able to hold on for the win, even though his hair might have gotten a shade grayer.

"We've had our ups and downs this year and a lot of bad luck, but we've really worked hard on being responsible defensively, so I was less worried in the final two minutes than I might have been earlier in the year," said Glover.

Of the four tournaments the Rangers have played in this season, it's the one they wanted to win the most.

Besides setting up the game-winning goal, Dylan Mitchell was also named the Rangers' hardest working player, while Hodgens was named the game's first star for his stellar performance in net.

The Rangers only allowed three goals in the tournament, while scoring a division leading 22 times. Hodgens posted back-to-back shutouts in the two games he played, and fellow netminder Cohen Lesperance-Spack had a pair of shutouts in the four games he started.

Offensively, Sam Glover scored six of the Rangers' goals in the tournament; while Nathan Villeneuve scored four times, and Dylan Mitchell added three of his own.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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