Last night the New York Pee Wee Rangers held a team dinner with all the players, coaches, and billets. The dinner was held at a popular Quebec City sports-themed restaurant with TV screens throughout. The biggest screen in the house featured the New York Rangers game and throughout the game, our boys couldn’t contain themselves and broke out into a series of cheers of “Let’s Go Rangers!” The win left the Pee Wee Rangers happy and ready to take on their next challenge.
Tuesday morning the team was back at the rink and ready to tune-up their game and take their competition skills up a notch. The final score was two-one in favor of the Czechs but the Pee Wee Rangers performance was something to be proud of.
The exhibition tilt with the Knights began on a challenging note as the Czechs scored just twenty seconds into the first period. Following that score, the Pee Wee Rangers took over. Three quarters of the game was played in the Czech end, and, although there were no official shot on goal stats, the Rangers visibly outshot the Knights by at least twenty over the course of the game.
Late in the second period, Captain Christian Jiminez made a rush from the point and went hard to the goal. One rebound here, another rebound there, and Jiminez jammed the puck past the sprawling Czech goalie. David Chen got an assist, and the game was tied at one. With more than a minute left in the period the Pee Wee Rangers pressed the attack and appeared to have scored again, but goal was waved off by the referees.
That momentum carried into the third period, but bad luck and good Czech goaltending continued to keep the puck out of the Knights net. Halfway through the third, the Czechs capitalized on an opportunity and put a rebound home to take the lead, 2-1, and that’s how the contest finished.
Goaltender Kyle Saul gave it his all, backstopping a Pee Wee Rangers team that is learning step-by-step that there are no easy ones at the 56th edition of the International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament of Quebec.
After some time to eat lunch and to reflect on the mission still ahead, the boys were looking forward to a fun skate on a lake outside of town. Tomorrow brings another exhibition at the big mall against a talented Russian team, and another opportunity for the Pee Wee Rangers to hit their stride.