Chelsea Piers will be a rocking house this weekend, starting Friday night, when the Connecticut Jr. Rangers get the chance to host an NCDC playoff series for the first time.
The Jr. Rangers had good times and OK times throughout the season, but they were essentially a playoff team from the beginning. From November on, they moved fluidly between third and seventh place, eventually clinching the No. 3 seed off the strength of an 8-2 run in their last 10 games.
It was very similar to the start of the season, when they started 6-2-1-1 in their first 10 to set the tone for staying competitive and running with the best teams this year - the first 10 games included a win and a shootout loss against the eventual league champion New Jersey Hitmen. Their last 10 games included a victory over the No. 2 Junior Bruins.
Head To Head Vs. Syracuse Stars 2018-19
The Rangers didn’t see their future playoff opponents until January 4, starting out with the Syracuse Stars at the USPHL Winter Showcase. The Rangers posted a 4-2 win that date. From there, it was four times in their last 10 games that the Rangers faced the Stars.
The Feb. 23-24 series in Syracuse both went the way of the Rangers, 5-1 and 4-3. On Chelsea Piers on March 1, the teams went to OT, with the Rangers winning 3-2.
The Stars finally took one from the Rangers in their first of four games in five days, defeating the Rangers 5-2 at Chelsea Piers. All told, though, the Rangers won the season series 4-1-0-0.
Here is how the Rangers fared against the rest of the playoff field:
Vs. New Jersey Hitmen: 1-2-0-2; Vs. Junior Bruins: 2-3-0-0; Vs. Islanders Hockey Club: 3-1-0-0; Vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs: 1-3-0-0; Vs. Boston Bandits: 2-1-1-0; Vs. Northern Cyclones: 2-2-0-0.
Players To Watch
You simply have to give high and major praise to a program that yielded four of the top 12 scorers in the NCDC - one third of that field.
Brad Ong (‘99/West Vancouver, B.C.) led the Rangers with 53 points, off 23 goals and 30 assists, in playing all 50 games.
Colin Slyne (‘98/Greenwich, Conn.) and Noah Strawn (‘98/Wareham, Mass.) also hit that 50-point mark, doing it in 47 games (18 goals, 32 assists) and 49 games (17-33), respectively.
Takato Cox (‘98/Redondo Beach, Calif.), who was limited to 44 games this year, finished with 49 points off 14 goals and 35 assists.
Two defensemen - Ole Andersen (‘99/Hamar., Norway) and Alex Sheehy (‘98/North Salem, N.Y.) - finished tied for eighth in the league for defenseman scoring with 24 points apiece.
In net, early season acquisition Colten Lancaster (‘98/Charlie Lake, B.C.) truly found his game, made the All-Star Game and came across the regular season finish line with a goals-against average of 2.64 and a save percentage of .927, both good for fourth in the league.
Syracuse Stars (6) at Connecticut Jr. Rangers (3)
Fri., March 15: 7:00 p.m.
Sat., March 16: 4:00 p.m.
Sun., March 17: 1:00 p.m. (if necessary)
All games to be played at Chelsea Piers, Stamford, Conn.