On the evening of February 13th the team, parents, billets, and coaches took an expedition outside Quebec City to the Cabane Sucre or Sugar Shack in St. Augustine for a taste of Old Quebec. The Sugar Shack is a traditional restaurant, an institution that celebrates the cultivation of maple syrup and the folk traditions of the Quebecois. In addition to a great meal, everyone was highly entertained by a pair of musicians who fiddled and strummed French-Canadian folk songs all evening. The team ate, danced, and sang to their hearts content. They even romped around outside in the frigid air, where their sledding was topped off by frozen maple syrup on a stick. The evening was an enjoyable and educational cultural experience.
It was an early wake-up on Saturday morning for a game at 9:15 am against the Barrie (Ontario) Colts, a AAA team from one of Canada’s great junior organizations. For the Pee Wee Rangers it was the right time to put the hard work, strategic changes, and lessons learned from practice into the reality of a game.
The game started out as a hard fought contest that remained scoreless through two periods. Goaltender Gus Bylin put up a wall and secured the front of his net. Gus got plenty of help from a quintet of defenseman including Christian Jiminez, Jason Want, Ben Presley, Bayard Hall, and Jason Marsella, who all played exceptionally. The big Barrie Colts threw everything they had at the Rangers net, but Bylin and company held the fort.
Six minutes into the third period, a 0-0 tie was snapped by a shot from Anthony Cippolone, who stunned the Colts goaltender from the right face-off circle. On the very next shift, the Rangers kept the heat up, storming the Barrie net. Jakub Tepley banged home a rebound and after about forty scoreless minutes the Pee Wee Rangers were out in front 2-0. Then two minutes later Victor Czerneckianair took a pass from David Chen to score and it was 3-0 in favor of the New York Pee Wee Rangers.
With three minutes to go, the focus turned to protecting the lead and the shutout for Gus Bylin. The final 180 seconds would include a penalty-kill that added to the game intensity, but the boys rose to the occasion. When the final buzzer sounded, the shutout was secure and the Pee Wee Rangers had a 3-0 victory.