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Rangers Earn Three Of Four Points Over Weekend

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It was a successful weekend for the Parkland Rangers as they picked up three of a possible four points.
Carter Zalischuk scored twice to lead Parkland to a 5-2 win over the Pembina Valley Hawks, Friday.

Dru Mushumanski, Rylan Gibbs and Jayce Legaarden had the other goals in support of Brenden Birch-Hayden, who made 27 saves in earning the win.

Mitchell Hlady and Logan Fillion scored for the Hawks. Bryson Yaschyshyn took the loss with 28 saves to his credit.

On Saturday, the Rangers let one slip away in a 5-4 overtime loss.

Parkland had a 3-0 lead by the 13-minute mark of the second period, but the Hawks tied the game with three goals in the last five minutes. The visitors took the lead on a lucky bounce in the less than six minutes into the third when a shot hit the glass behind the net and landed on the stick of Pembina’s Marek Miller in front of the goal, who deposited it for an easy goal.

Keston Worley’s third goal of the game, 3:10 into overtime lifted the Hawks to the win. Cameron Parr had the other Pembina goal and Matthew Grysiuk made 27 saves to pick up the win.

Will Munro, Hayden Seib, Cohan Smigelsky and Gibbs tallied for Parkland. Birch-Hayden took the loss with 25 saves.

While pleased to get three out of four points, Rangers head coach Tyler Carefoot said it was disappointing not to sweep the weekend.

“I guess we have to settle for it. We’re not happy about it,” he said. “I guess the message is that its a hard league to play in. It’s a hard league to win in and it’s a hard league to score in. And the moment you take your foot off the pedal and take a shift for granted, things are going to spiral pretty fast. They took advantage of that.”

Part of Pembina’s second-period momentum came on a two-man advantage in which the Rangers were assessed two penalties on the same play.

“I thought the second penalty was very undisciplined,” Carefoot said. “That’s just a classic example of momentum. Next thing you know, it’s 3-3 after two and we’re scrambling.”

With defenceman Matthew Munro out long term with an injury, the Rangers are down to 15 skaters. They were down to 14 for Saturday’s game when Kyan Grouette was handed a one-game suspension for a charging major in Friday’s win.

Carefoot admits the short bench changes the way he coaches a little bit, holding the players accountable.

“If there’s a mistake or a bad penalty, you shuffle guys around,” he said, using Smigelsky as an example. “What Cohen Smigelsky has done for this team, to be able to go from forward to defence to forward, and he did that one or two or three times in this game, is pretty special. He’s like a utility knife. Not many guys are able to do that. I commend Smigelsky for accepting that role and doing it really well,” he said.

The Rangers’ home stand continues next weekend with three games in as many days.

They host the Interlake Lightning in back-to-back games, Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

On Sunday, the surging Norman North Stars visited the Rangers, also at 1:30 p.m.

After starting the season with just two wins in their first 13 games, Norman has six wins in their last eight contests, including four in a row after Saturday’s win over Kenora.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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