Rangers reach first hockey final

By on March 4, 2019

Spencerport received goals from seven different players and junior goaltender Rachel Brase made her return from a dislocated kneecap with 24 saves to lead the Rangers to a 7-3 victory over Canandaigua in the second Class B semi-final and in the process set a new school record for wins in a season with 19.

In the Class B final at RIT – the first hockey Section V final for the Rangers in program history – Webster-Thomas survived a third period Rangers rally to win 5-2.

Thomas opened the scoring in the championship game just 30 seconds into the contest, but Spencerport out-shot the Titans 11-5 in the period. Thomas made it 2-0 just 1:03 into the second period with a power play goal and 3-0 three minutes later.

But the Rangers rallied in the third as Luc Fedele flipped the puck over the goaltender and into the net with assists from AJ Giannavola and Jason Uebelacker at 1:58 to cut the lead to 3-1. The same line made it 3-2 Thomas at the four minute mark as Giannavola scored from Fedele.

But the Titans capitalized on two defensive zone turnovers in the final stages of the period to seal their win.

“The program was definitely down and out and nobody really had any faith in us but ourselves,” senior defenseman Parker Scholand said after the final. “I think we (the seniors) tried to create a fun atmosphere and I can honestly say every single guy had a smile on their face after every game whether a win or a loss.

As for the legacy his senior class with Axel Mougel, Anthony Miceli, Zac Case, Jordan Salomone and Nicholas Blowers leave, Scholand said, “We tried to change the culture as best as we could and we worked as hard as anybody can work to win.”

In their semi-final win, Rangers sophomore forward Joey Cuzzopoli staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 4:17 of the first as he swatted in the second rebound off his initial attempt.

After Canandaigua tied the game less than two minutes later, Spencerport responded on the next shift with Scholand putting his wrist shot inside the right post after a pass from Fedele. Freshman Ryan Plouffe made it 3-1 Rangers just 31 seconds later with a rebound goal.

The Braves closed to within 3-2, but again the Rangers answered at 15:08 of the first as Uebelacker reached the 50-point mark on the season off a perfect tic-tac-toe passing play with Fedele and Giannavola.

Spencerport made it 5-2 with the only goal of the second stanza – a power play marker by Giannavola after Fedele created an offensive zone turnover.

Junior Mark Neu scored short side at 1:20 of the third during a five-on-three power play to make it 6-2.

Canandaigua tacked on a goal midway through the final period before Fedele scored into an empty-net from his own end of the ice.

“It was a little nerve-wracking not having played for the team for months, but once you get into it, there’s not much you can worry about,” Brase said about her comeback.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group; they gave every ounce of everything that they had and we’re going to look to continue to make these seniors proud,” first year head coach Ryan Ford concluded. “They were the catalyst of this turnaround and we’re just getting started here.”