The Roundup -

Ranger Peewees Takes State Championship


Photo by Vonnie Van Hook

The 2015-2016 Richland Ranger Peewees competed at the North Dakota Peewee B Gold State Tournament in Rugby, ND March 4th – 6th, 2016. After a successful regular season with a record of 23-3, the team entered the tournament as the #1 seed out of the west. Their goal was to put together three solid games in hopes of bringing home the state title. This feat has eluded them the past two seasons with finishes of second place in 2013-2014 and a third place finish last season.

Game #1 vs Wahpeton BW Blades. The Rangers looked to set the pace by attacking the net early and often. At the 13:40 mark of the first period Jaxson Franklin found the back of the net with an assist from Braden Kindopp in what would prove to be the start of a big game for Franklin. Franklin scored an unassisted goal at the 12:31 mark and again at the 10:30 mark for a first period hat trick. Three minutes later, Wes Van Hook scored with an assist from Franklin. The Blades followed the fourth Ranger goal by putting up their first goal of the game and would close the gap to 4-1 after the first period of play.

The Rangers struck first in the second period with another goal from Franklin with the assist by Shandyn Gurney. The Blades would not go away easily and scored the next three goals, including one on a power play to cut the lead to 5-4. After a Ranger time out, Franklin scored a short-handed goal with another assist from Kindopp as the second period came to an end. The Rangers took a 6-4 lead going into the final period of play. Richland controlled the third period of the contest from start to finish. Franklin scored an unassisted goal for his sixth goal of the game on a Ranger power play. At the 7:13 mark of the third, the Rangers would strike for the final goal of the game coming off of the stick of Landon Schumacker, assisted by Trevin Trudell. The Schumacker goal extended the lead to 8-4 where the game would end. Goalie Austen Taylor finished the game with 16 saves on 20 shots to earn the win in net.

Game #2 vs Bismarck Capitals. The Rangers took a first round 8-4 win to advance to the second round where a familiar western conference foe would be waiting for them as the #2 ranked Bismarck Capitals looked for the upset. The two teams squared off three previous times with the Rangers getting the better of the Capitals in two of the three meetings. With the teams being so familiar with each other, it set up what would be the most competitive game of the tournament for the Rangers. Richland and Bismarck hit the ice with what would be a high paced, physical game. With both teams racing up and down the ice, the Capitals would get the first big break in the game when the Rangers took two minor penalties in the same sequence. Bismarck found out just how tough Richland could be when they failed to score in a two minute span playing five on three hockey. Forward Jaxson Franklin, along with a pair of defensemen in Grady Larson and Wes Van Hook, killed the full two minute penalty without giving up a single shot on goal. With the Rangers back to full strength, forty-five seconds later they would strike first with an unassisted goal by Franklin, who continued to have the hot hand in the tournament. The period ended with a 1-0 lead for Richland.

Riding the momentum from the goal at the end of the first period, the Rangers added another goal just 2:27 into the second. Finding the back of the net for Richland, was forward Casey Rehbein off of the assist from Braden Kindopp. The Ranger goal was again the only goal of the period as they took a 2-0 advantage into the final period of play. Bismarck proved why they were a contender at the state tournament by playing their way back into a position for a chance to win in the third period. A short-handed goal at 5:13 into the period and then a power play goal at the 8:37 mark would pull the Capitals even at 2-2. With two minutes left in regulation, Bismarck was whistled for a minor tripping call to give Richland an opportunity for their power play line to hit the ice one more time. The penalty would prove costly for the Capitals as Franklin scored his second unassisted goal of the game with a perfectly placed shot that tipped off the glove hand of the goalie with just forty-five seconds left in the contest. The packed arena erupted with Franklin's game winning goal that would send the Rangers to the title game. Richland limited Bismarck to just 11 shots on goal with Austen Taylor turning away 9 of those shots to earn the win.

Game #3 vs Fargo Freeze. The championship game was set with Richland traveling 234 miles east and Fargo traveling 223 miles west to meet at the geographical center of North America in Rugby, North Dakota for the east vs west match up. It would be the speed of the Rangers versus the size and power of the Freeze. Richland would have to prove one more time that their speed would be the difference if they wanted to finish what they set out to do when they first took the ice last November to begin their quest for a state title. Richland wasted no time in showing what they could do when Casey Rehbein scored just 58 seconds into the contest assisted by Jaxson Franklin. The Rangers would strike again at 5:18 into the first when Franklin would net a goal with assists going to Rehbein and Shandyn Gurney. The period would end with Richland up 2-0. Period two would start with an unassisted goal by Gurney at the 5:18 mark. The Freeze would put their first goal of the contest in at 6:53 into the period, but the Rangers would answer with an unassisted goal by Franklin with just under three and a half minutes to play. Richland would confidently go into the intermission with a 4-1 lead.

The final period of the contest would start with a Fargo goal two minutes into the period to cut the Richland lead to 4-2. The Rangers would again answer with two goals in less than one minute of play to extend their lead to 6-2. Both goals coming from Franklin while Logan Boyer assisted the first goal and Wes Van Hook assisted on the second goal. Fargo would score their final goal of the game with ten minutes left on the clock. Rehbein would score the final goal of the season assisted by Franklin with just over four minutes left in the contest. The Rangers would then play keep away to run out the clock and secure the championship victory. Austen Taylor was again the winning goalie in a strong performance by turning away 22 of the 25 Fargo shots on goal.

The peewee team consisted of: Goalie: Austen Taylor. Forwards: Shandyn Gurney, Trevin Trudell, Casey Rehbein, Shay Erickson, Graylin Martin, Landon Schumacker, Parket Mindt, Tate Hazen and Jaxson Franklin. Defensemen: Wes Van Hook, Logan Boyer, Grady Larson and Braden Kindopp. Coaches: Dawn Rehbein and Justin Boyer.

The Ranger Peewee players and coaches would like to extend a special "thank you" to the following: Families of the players for getting the kids to and from games and practice all season and many hours of volunteer work. Team Manager Vonnie Van Hook for keeping us all organized when on the road and at home. Bo Kindopp and Chad Morehouse for the countless hours of making sure the boys had their skates sharpened and clean sheets of ice to practice and play on. The Ranger Jr. Gold players that helped at practice: James Haraldson, Peyton Tofte, Skylar Petrik, Dylan Johnson, Kyle Mueller, Trent Schilling and Kyler Garsjo. Referees: Kallie Berndt, Kelly Berndt, Chase Morehouse, Randy Ostrom and Westin Davies. Without refs we cannot play!

Thank you to the RYH board and RYH club members for the constant support for all RYH teams. GO RANGERS!!!


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