South Grenville Rangers unable to get by last season’s champs

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

CARDINAL – The South Grenville Rangers began the second half of the 2022-23 season in unfamiliar territory, with a loss. South Grenville dropped a 2-1 loss to the defending league champions, the Clarence Castors January 7 in Cardinal.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Noah Penney (from Cole Michalicka and Adam Chouinard). Castors’ forward Jacob Servant levelled the game early in the second period.  Tristan Bolduc scored the game winner on a Clarence power play in the third period.

Rangers’ starting goalie Andrew Cristea chalked up his third loss of the season.

South Grenville rebounded on the road Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 win over the Almonte Inferno. The teams were tied 1-1 after 20 minutes. A big push by the Rangers in the second period saw three goals scored, followed by two more in the third period. Penney scored a hat trick in the game. Owen Webster, Cole Michalicka and Jesse McCoy had one goal each in the game.

The mixed results for the Rangers, combined with the North Dundas Rockets winning both of their games on the weekend, slide South Grenville to second place in the league standings. South Grenville has 18 wins, four losses, and one tie for 37 points. They are two points behind the first place Rockets, with two games in hand. Hot on the Rangers’ heels are the Castors (35 points) and the Gatineau Hull-Volant (34 points).

In a tight four-way race for the top of the NCHJL standings, the Rangers cannot let their foot off the gas: they have another big weekend ahead of them.

Up first on January 13, the Rangers travel to Westport to take on the Rideaus. A day later, the North Dundas Rockets are in Cardinal to face the Rangers. Puck drop for that game is 8:15 p.m.

This article was originally published in the Morrisburg Leader.

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