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Rangers Top Chicago in Opening Game of Traverse City Tournament

Stromwall, Gropp and Day Score; Nell Stops 28

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

TRAVERSE CITY, MI - The Rangers jumped out to a three-goal lead and never relinquished it as they opened the Traverse City Prospect Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Chicago.

Head coach Keith McCambridge liked the way his team came together after just a single practice and one morning skate.

"I really liked our start," McCambridge said. "I thought we were aggressive. We used our speed. We had some pretty good structure considering it was our first game and one practice under our belt. But I liked our game a lot."

Malte Stromwall, who spent last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, opened the scoring when he deflected a wrist shot from the point by Brandon Crawley early on the first period.

Ryan Gropp followed with a goal of his own minutes later when he broke down the left wing and fired a low wrist shot to that found twine to extend the lead to 2-0.

Gropp's line, centered by Lias Andersson with Ty Ronning, was New York's top line and power play unit.

The Rangers capped the scoring on a tally by Sean Day. The 2016 third-round pick fired a shot towards the Chicago cage that deflected into the air and over the netminder and into the net midway through the middle frame.

New York got into power play trouble in the third and allowed Chicago to score twice late in the frame, but goaltender Chris Nell was able to hold on for the victory. 


"Overall I thought we played a really good team game," said Nell, who finished with 28 saves. "Obviously in these tournaments it's tough. You're just getting to know guys, you get one practice and you're kind of thrown into the ringer. I thought tonight we did a really good job of just playing D-zone out. I thought we were blocking shots well. For a team that's only practiced once, I thought we played a really solid game."

McCambridge liked what Nell, who appeared in four games for the Wolf Pack last season, provided the team Friday night.

"I thought any time there was a breakdown, he was there to cover up pucks," he said. "There wasn't a lot laying around in the crease for those second chance opportunities. He was real strong. That's a real solid game for him."

Prior to the game, Ronning was named captain with Andersson and defenseman Vince Pedrie serving as alternates. 

"I'm just trying to do what I've done my whole life," Andersson said. "Just try to push the guys on the bench and be a leader in the room. We've got many older players, good leaders in there, so we're just trying to help each other push the group forward."

Traverse City Prospect Tournament
Date Opponent Time/ Result
Sept. 8 Chicago 3-2 W
Sept. 9 Carolina 3:30 PM
Sept. 11 Detroit 7:00 PM
Sept. 12 TBD TBD
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