The Gloucester Rangers already know they will be making a rather substantial move in the near future.
But before they relocate to Rockland at the conclusion of this season, the Rangers are also keen to make a move in the Central Canada Hockey League standings.
Gloucester entered the week with just one place to go in the standings. Up.
The Rangers, who had 19 regular season matches remaining, had posted a 14-25-2-2 record. They were not only occupying the cellar of the league’s six-team Yzerman Division but they were also dead last in the CCHL’s overall standings.
On a positive note, however, was the fact the Rangers, who will be renamed the Rockland Nats, are one of six clubs currently battling it out for the league’s final two playoff positions. Those half dozen squads were separated by a mere eight points in the standings.
Rangers’ head coach/general manager Dan Sauvé believes his side is capable of going on a bit of a winning streak down the stretch drive and grabbing a postseason berth.
“There’s still a lot of games left to play,” he said.
And despite their spot in the standings, the Rangers are not getting down on themselves. It’s not as if they are getting blown out in their contests.
“We’re in every game,” said Sauvé, who left his associate coaching and assistant GM gigs with the Ottawa Jr. Senators early this season to take over the Rangers. “It seems we go into the third period of most of our games either up by a goal or down by a goal.”
Members of the Gloucester organization are also remaining upbeat since they have 20-year-old puckstopper Michael Cullen on their roster.
“I think we’ve got one of the best goaltenders in the league,” Sauvé said. “He gives us a chance to win every night.”
Cullen has made a league-high 36 appearances this season. And considering where the Rangers are in the standings, he had a decent 2.86 goals-against average, the eighth best GAA in the CCHL.
While not giving up hope on the 2016-17 campaign, Sauvé is also excited about the franchise’s future.
“Everybody in our organization is looking forward to the move,” he said of the relocation, which will see the squad move about a 20-minute drive east.
The soon-to-be Nats have already started making plans for next year. The team dealt away various older players who did not fit into its plans for the 2017-18 season.
And Sauvé plans to dress several affiliated players for a number of
upcoming matches to get a better gauge of how they perform at this level
and whether they can become regulars next year.
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