Rangers clinch first overall in NCJHL

South Grenville Rangers defenceman Matthew O’Brien (center, #18) and forward Jordan Poulin (center, #15) screen Bytown Royals goalie Zackery Bourassa in the second period of the Rangers-Royals game on February 1st. South Grenville blanked Bytown 4-0, and shot down the North Dundas Rockets 6-2 on February 2nd. – Leader photo

CARDINAL – Two weeks after clinching their division, the South Grenville Rangers clinched first place in the NCJHL on February 1st. The Rangers shutout the visiting Bytown Royals that night 4-0.

Solid defending by both teams kept the Rangers and Royals scoreless in the first period. It wasn’t for a lack of trying on the Rangers part as two goals were waved off by officials in the period.
Brayden Forestell figured out how to get around Royals’ goalie Zackery Bourassa early in the second period. Two minutes in, Forestell’s unassisted goal gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Just over three minutes later, Cameron Dillon set up Forestell’s second of the night.

South Grenville’s forward lines kept the pressure up against Bytown. Halfway through the period, Owen Webster went top-corner on Bourassa and scored his seventh goal of the year. Jared Fenlong and Brody Ranger were credited with the assist on that goal.

In the final minute on a penalty-kill, Dylan Sharpley (from Jacob Servage) scored a short-handed goal, the Rangers’ final goal in the game. The Rangers carried a 4-0 lead into the third period and to the final whistle.

Rangers goalie Sam Limoges-Ring earned his second shutout of the season, and his 13th win as the team clinched first overall.

South Grenville then visited the North Dundas Rockets in Chesterville on February 2nd.

The Rangers opened the first period taking a 2-0 lead over the Rockets. Cooper Kingston (from Webster and Mathieu Giroux) and Mark McKay (from Jordan Poulin and Dillon) each had goals for South Grenville.

Sharpley made it 3-0 for the Rangers early in the second period before the Rockets cut into their lead. North Dundas snipers Justin Lefebvre and Joel Hunt brought the Rockets to within one goal of the Rangers. Webster (from Giroux) and Poulin (from Matthew O’Brien and Kingston) restored the Rangers’ two goal lead. Poulin added a late goal as South Grenville led North Dundas 5-2 after 40 minutes.

Webster added one more goal for the Rangers as the team took home a 6-2 win over the Rockets.

South Grenville improved to a record of 27 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie for 55 points. The team sit 25 points ahead of North Dundas in their division, and 11 points ahead of the Vankleek Hill Cougars in the overall standings.

The Rangers host the East division leading Cougars on February 8th, and will travel back to Chesterville on February 9th for a rematch against the Rockets.

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