Rangers shoot down Rockets at home

Spurgeon holds Rockets to one goal – South Grenville Rangers goalie Lee Spurgeon held the North Dundas Rockets to just one goal January 27th. The Rangers scored a 4-1 win over the division rivals, keeping a five-point cushion at the top of the National Capital Junior Hockey League West Division. Above, Spurgeon (center, #1) flung back this save in the middle of the second period. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

CARDINAL – The South Grenville Rangers pulled out all the stops January 27th, downing the division rival North Dundas Rockets 4-1 in “Starchtown”. Both teams were coming off big wins. The Rangers had doused the West Carleton Inferno in a 7-0 shutout Thursday, while the Rockets shot down the Metcalfe Jets 7-2 the night before.

It didn’t take long for the Rangers to light up the scoreboard. Chris Row picked up his eighth goal of the year, set up by Brody Ranger. South Grenville took a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, newcomer Justin Saab-Brault earned his fourth goal in four games with the Rangers, putting the team up 2-0.

A rough second period led to flared tempers from both sides. Frustrated, the Rockets were throwing everything they could at the Rangers, including team captain Brad Stitt, who was bounced for charging the goalie. That call was questioned by Rockets general manager Rob Sadler. Stitt was the second Rocket bounced in the period. Earlier Hugo Lusiguan was tossed for an altercation in the Rockets end. After two periods, the Rangers continued to lead the Rockets 2-0.

In the opening minute of the third period, Rockets’ forward Jarrett Williams cut the Rangers’ lead in half, scoring a one-timer on Rangers’ goalie Lee Spurgeon. Mathieu Giroux answered back five minutes later, combining with Jordan Dodge to put the Rangers up 3-1. Sam Martin added one more goal for insurance with five minutes remaining in the game.

The Rangers blasted the Rockets 4-1, and preserved their five-point lead in the division standings.

The Rangers were a perfect 10-for-10 on the penalty-kill in the game, while Spurgeon notched his 12th win of the season in net.

“Today’s win was huge for not only the standings but team confidence as well,” said Rangers’ general manager Lucas Stitt. “The Rockets have been arguably the hottest team. For us to leave the rink up five points, rather than one is huge.”

South Grenville has just five games remaining in the regular season, and leads the west divison by five points (20-7-2). The team will host the league-leading Clarence Castors (23-5-1) at the Ingredion Centre in Cardinal on February 2nd.

The Rangers and Rockets will square off again in the teams’ final match of the season-series February 9th at the Chesterville Arena.

South Grenville Rangers forward Jordan Dodge (center, #43) attempts to pass the puck in front of the North Dundas Rockets’ goal-mouth in the second period while Rockets d-man Pierce Egan blocks. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

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