Former Ranger Zac Leslie comes Storming back to Ottawa
Former Ranger Zac Leslie comes Storming back to Ottawa by Jonathan Perron-Clow
The Rangers pride themselves on preparing players for the next level whether it is college or major junior. When the team had its impressive run to the semi-finals two years ago, many players left for these two avenues including defenseman Zac Leslie who joined the Guelph Storm of the OHL.
On his recent return to Ottawa, Leslie continued his impressive play and though he didn't register any points, he was a +4 during his team's 6-0 win.
He has fond memories of his time spent with the Rangers where he was a rookie on the team that made it to the semi-final.
"It was a great team," he recalls about the 2010-11 Rangers. "It was one of my most fun years in hockey." The rookie defenseman had 13 goals and 22 assists that year.
A few of his friends from that team are now on the opposite side of the ice in the OHL. He chats regularly with Nathan Pancel (Sudbury) and Adam Lloyd (Oshawa) and other veterans from that team.
Leslie's jump to the next level wasn't without its challenges.
"It took a few months to get adjusted; it was a lot more difficult than I thought," he admits.
However, his year at the Junior A helped his transition from midget to major junior. "Just playing in that league (the CCHL) helps."
Now in his second year with the Storm, Leslie is visibly comfortable and creative on the ice and gets time in all situations on his team which is fifth in the Western Conference. He has already surpassed the 17 points he picked up last year with seven goals and 18 assists after the game against the Ottawa 67's.
Leslie tops many observers' list of most improved player in the 'O' this year. In his mind, it just shows the extent to which a second year helps.
Rangers fans and Storm fans alike will continue to trace Leslie's progress as he climbs the ranks and gets into the spotlight.
Over 1,950 CJHL Alumni Competing on College and University Hockey Teams
Over 1,950 CJHL Alumni Competing on College and University Hockey Teams by Charla Flett
December 18th, 2012 - The Canadian Junior Hockey League is proud to
announce that more than 1,950 former CJHL players are pursuing their
academic and hockey careers at colleges and universities across North
Number of CJHL alumni competing at universities and colleges in Canada
and the US (% of rosters):
578 in NCAA Division I (37%)
594 in NCAA Division III (27%)
780 in Canadian universities and colleges (61%)
"There is no denying how successful the CJHL and its ten Junior A
leagues have been at paving the way to college hockey careers in
Canada and the US," stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb. "Junior A's role
is to provide premier development and maximum exposure so that our
student-athletes can further their hockey and academic careers.
Clearly we are doing that."
Each season hundreds of CJHL players and alumni commit to universities
and colleges on both sides of the Canada-US border. Here in Canada,
over 780 former CJHL players are currently playing in the CIS
(Canadian Interuniversity Sport), Alberta Colleges Athletic
Association (ACAC), BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) and
Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA). This represents 61% of
players on Canadian university and college team rosters.
Torrie Dyck, a former standout in the SJHL with the Nipawin Hawks, has
since gone on to play in both the CIS (University of Alberta) and ACAC
(Augustana). "Playing three years of Junior A allowed me to take the
next step to the ACAC, and subsequently to the CIS", said Dyke, who is
currently playing a key role for the University of Alberta Golden
Bears. "I still reflect on my time in the CJHL and realize that those
were some of the best years of my life," said the top points-per-game
producer of the No. 1 ranked team in the CIS.
South of the border, a total of 578 CJHL alumni can be found on NCAA
Division I rosters. Those 578 CJHL Alumni account for 37% of all
Division I hockey players. The 594 CJHL alumni competing at the NCAA
Division III level represent 27% of all Division III players.
"The CJHL has perennially been loaded with blue-chip NCAA prospects,"
said Mark Dennehy, Head Coach of Merrimack College of Hockey East,
"The coaches understand how to develop these players and are very
knowledgeable about the recruiting process."
Devin Shore, who played for the Whitby Fury (OJHL), was the highest
drafted CJHL player in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Shore committed to
the NCAA's University of Maine Black Bears of Hockey East, "Deciding
to play college hockey is the best decision I've ever made. Practices
are like games, and games are like playoff games. The opportunity to
represent your school and play in front of such passionate fans is
awesome. It's a great place to get better and have a ton of fun doing
Penticton Vees (BCHL) alumnus, Joey Laleggia, is thriving in the NCAA
at the WCHA's University of Denver. "College hockey was a smart
choice for me because it gives me a couple more years to develop.
It's an awesome lifestyle. It really makes you take charge of your
life. You have to balance being the best hockey player you can be
along with studies."
Newmarket (OJHL) alumnus, Dan Ellis of the Anaheim Ducks, is grateful
for his CJHL experience. "Playing in Newmarket gave me the
opportunity to compete at one of the highest junior hockey levels. The
CJHL not only provided me exposure to NCAA, CHL and NHL, but prepared
me to play at those levels."
"One look at the number of former CJHL players we have competing at
colleges and universities in North America and its clear that the
Junior A model is working for our student-athletes and their
families," proudly stated CJHL President Kirk Lamb.
For More Information:
Canadian Junior Hockey League/Ligue de hockey junior canadienne
Rangers' Boivin Picked for Canada East Selection Camp
Rangers' Boivin Picked for Canada East Selection Camp by Jonathan Perron-Clow
Great news continues to flow from the Gloucester Rangers who put up an impressive five game home stand in recent weeks highlighted by tight games and three wins against some of the CCHL's top teams.
On Tuesday, the Canada East selection camp roster for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge was announced. Among the invitees is Gloucester Rangers Captain Alexandre Boivin. Take a look at the full list here.
He certainly demonstrated that he was a worthy candidate during the recent homestand where he was able to help bring the Rangers to victory on a couple of occasions including in a nail-bitter against the Cumberland Grads that saw him set up the game winner in the final minute after scoring the tying marker earlier in the period.
On top of being the team leader in points and in the league's top 10, Boivin is also noted for his leadership abilities.
"He came in as a rookie last year and I really noticed he was a very good leader in the dressing room," explained Rangers Head Coach Sylvain Favreau earlier in the season.
One of last year's top rookies in the league, Boivin has progressed into one of the top talents in the CCHL and has been turning heads in the league.
Coach Favreau sees hockey leading him further: "He's fully committed to hockey and we have a plan to get him into college hockey."
A chance to play on Canada East wouldn't hurt with that goal in mind. The 2012 World Junior A Challenge takes place in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in early November.
The Rangers start another three game homestand on Friday night when the ever difficult Pembroke Lumber Kings come to town. Puck drop is at 7:30 at Earl Armstrong.
Lots to be Thankful for as Rangers Win Two of Three
Lots to be Thankful for as Rangers Win Two of Three by Jonathan Perron-Clow
While most Canadians spent the weekend trying to see how much turkey they could fit into their stomachs, the Gloucester Rangers were busy filling the oppositions net. They scored 14 times and netted four out of a possible six points on a busy holiday weekend.
Friday night, the Rangers wrangled the Colts as the powerplay was clicking on all cylinders. In fact, it was the new expert pointman Andrew Rossy who clicked and scored a hat-trick of powerplay goals. Newcomer Matt Rosebrook, who was acquired a few weeks ago from the Kemptville 73's in an eight player trade, also scored twice. Highly-touted defenseman Colton Keuhl added another for the Rangers who won by 6-3 margin.
Keuhl is the star of the team's Facebook page which can be seen at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gloucester-Rangers-Jr-A-Hockey-Club/278456050751 . His picture has been liked more than any other player on the roster - lots of fans for the young man who is quickly making his mark as a responsible defenseman who can add on offense when required.
On Sunday, the Rangers travelled to quiet Navan for a matchup against the Cumberland Grads. The game started slow for the Rangers as they fell behind 4-1 after two periods. Then, seeing that Cumberland was already eyeing their turkey-filled evening, the Rangers dug at the lead in the third.
First, the speedy Keegan Rowe put one home as Friday's heroes Rosebrook and Rossy assisted. Then another former 73, Stevie Ray Adams got the puck from Patrick White and Alexandre Boivin to get the Rangers within one. With five minutes to go, the powerplay was at it again and Christian Leger put one past the Grads keeper to send the game to overtime.
As the clock ticked towards a shootout, Matt Rosebrook picked up his third goal of the weekend and the game winner to complete the comeback.
Less than 24 hours later, the Rangers looked to finish a perfect weekend against the Ottawa Jr. Senators. Earlier in the day, Ottawa had been named 4th on the Canadian Junior Hockey League's national ranking and the Jr. Sens wanted to show why.
The game remained tight in the first as Ottawa picked up a one nothing lead. Then, Gloucester let a number of powerplay opportunities slip away as their dominance from earlier in the weekend disappeared for the first few chances. In the meantime, Ottawa managed to build a 4-0 lead. Still, Gloucester organized and Andrew Rossy was able to get his team on the board before the end of the second frame.
At the start of the third, Ottawa continued to take penalties and on Gloucester's seventh powerplay of the night, Rosebrook was at it again collecting his fourth goal in three games. On a later powerplay, he took an ill-advised penalty which lead to Ottawa getting a powerplay marker of their own.
Rosebrook tipped a Rossy point shot to close the gap to 5-3 but it wasn't to be. Gloucester's busy weekend came to an end with four of six points and a successful Turkey Shoot during Monday's second intermission.
The Rangers host their next four games at the Earl Armstrong Arena, starting this Friday against Kanata. They continue with games on Sunday, Wednesday and the upcoming Friday before hitting the road versus Nepean on Sunday, October 21.
Before Monday's game, the club celebrated its many volunteers. Come greet them and the other fans and support the surging Gloucester Rangers.