Rangers win Normandy Christmas Tournament
The Rangers opened up the tourney with a 4-1 victory over a game Stow High school hockey squad.Under head coach Ryan Schelien, the Stow Bulldogs are fielding their first ever varsity team and played a solid game against the Rangers. Playing without senior captain Will Holden because of illness, the young Ranger freshmen stepped up and led the squad to victory.
But, the absence of the veteran winger the next morning was a factor in Lakewood dropping a 2-1 contest to the Nordonia Knights. Nordonia played an outstanding defensive game in shutting down the Lakewood attack, and while senior netminder Rob Holden turned in another solid job in net, the Rangers just couldnt consistently find the back of the Nordonia cage.
But, in the final game of the tournament, because Stow had upset Nordonia in an earlier game, the tournament championship came down to who would win the game between the Invaders and the Rangers. Although Lakewood scored first, the Invaders skated to a methodical 3-1 lead with only 3 1/2 minutes to play in the game. Normandy then found their way to the penalty box with a pair of penalties, With Senior forward Will Holden back in the lineup following his two day bout with the flu, the Ranger power pay came alive scoring on both of its opportunities within one minute to tie the game. Then, as Lakewood tallied its third goal, Normandy took another penalty which put the Rangers on the power play again. And, the Rangers again converted to take a 4-3 lead with only 1:30 left in the game. But, Lakewood then committed a holding penalty and with Normandy pulling their goalie, Rob Holden stood tall in goal against a 6-4 Normandy attack and the Rangers hung on for the victory and the tournament championship. It was the first tournament championship in the last five years for Lakewood and the Rangers proudly accepted the weekend hardware
The tournament victories upped the season record to 8-4 for the team who will next take the ice in a critical Blue North conference battle against league leading Orange on Dec 27th at the Pond. Puck will drop at 8:50pm for the league game.