Scott Ranger requested a trade from Nanaimo to Victoria, and that didn’t sit well with some of the Nanaimo players. And after Ranger burned his former team for 4 goals, including the winner with 1:01 left in Wednesday’s 9-8 victory for Victoria, it’s sitting even worse. “Anytime a guy walks away from the team because they think they’re better than the team, it’s obviously going to piss off the guys who stayed here and battle through it, they took the easy way out,” Nanaimo goalie Zak Boychuk told the Nanaimo Daily News after the game. Strong words, but Ranger understands.
In this post-game interview, Ranger acknowledged there are some Nanaimo guys “who don’t really like me over there. It is what it is. We got the 2 points and that’s all that matters.”
It’s easy to understand the sentiment of the Nanaimo fellas. They lost a potent offensive force. But it’s also easy to understand the logic of Ranger’s request. He knows he’s not getting any younger and time is gaining ground on his career. The pinnacle of any Canadian lacrosse career is a Mann Cup, and Ranger simply wanted to improve his odds.
The Timbermen honored Ranger’s request and moved him to a barn he’s familiar with in Victoria from his Junior A days with the Rocks. The move is paying off for the Senior Shamrocks as Ranger is doing what he does best — scoring goals and leading the team in points.
But also dear to Ranger’s heart is the chance for his family to come see him play.
“It was one of those nights that had a lot of emotions going into it, but it doesn’t really matter, you’ve got to play the game no matter where you play,” Ranger told the newspaper. “I’m just glad my family got to come out and watch tonight.”
Certainly, there is respect for Ranger for what he’s accomplished in his WLA career. And after losing such a close game on Wednesday, emotions probably played a role in Boychuk’s comments. The goalie and his T-men get another chance to take down Ranger and the Shamrocks in a June 29 rematch in Nanaimo. But no matter how he feels, Boychuk at the very least was able to recognize the talent of Ranger. Along with Cory Conway, who also was traded to Victoria from Nanaimo before the season started.
“There was extra motivation, but those are two guys that are hard to keep off the score sheet .. and they did their damage tonight, Scott especially. Maybe next time we’ll take a few more hacks and whacks at them and get under their skin a little bit more.”
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It was a big week for Ranger, beyond his Nanaimo homecoming. On Tuesday, he graduated from Vancouver Island University with a degree in education. He hopes putting his name in the on-call list will open some doors. “With my teaching degree, hopefully I can stay in Nanaimo and expand my roots in the community. It shows you how passionate I am about being here in Nanaimo,” he said. (Nanaimo Daily News) … New Westminster went into last night’s game against Maple Ridge with what a formula that worked their last time out in a win over Coquitlam, and Jeff Cornwall said it’s a system that will only get better as the ‘Bellies work more in it. “Our offence did a great job of pressuring the ball. When we’re clicking like that, it’s a lot of fun to watch.” (Royal City Record) … The retooled Maple Ridge Burrards were 4-1 in May, making GM/coach Daren Fridge downright giddy. “The whole organization is. May was our best May … probably ever.” (Maple Ridge News) … The Burnaby Lakers are just 1-3 and 2 of those losses are by 1 goal. Forward Chase Williams says the team’s 132 PIM is not helping. “Every time we’ve lost, we’ve been in the penalty box. We got a few more goals — it’s going in the right way, but it’s coming down to penalty trouble — keeping out of the penalty box — it’s a momentum killer for us.” (Burnaby Now).Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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