Rangers' centre Ty Crombie tips a point shot past Dunnville netminder Owen McDonnell in Glanbrook's 5-0 victory over the Mudcats.


GLANBROOK (Dec. 14) — The Glanbrook Rangers are feeling pretty comfortable right now.  And for good reason.

The Rangers finished off the 2022 segment of the PJHL season by cruising to a 5-0 win over the Dunnville Mudcats and went into the holiday furlough riding a 15-game winning streak.  They’re also sitting on top of the Bloomfield Division standings with an eight-point bulge over their nearest pursuers and their potent lineup includes the third- and fourth-highest scorers in the league.

What’s not to celebrate?

“Anytime you can win 15 games in a row, it is something to be confident about,” said Rangers’ centre Ty Crombie, who led the Rangers’ attack against Dunnville with a pair of goals.  “But our objective is never to be complacent, no matter what team we face.”

The Rangers were far from complacent in their final outing of 2022 against the Mudcats.  And, although it might not have been their most expertly executed effort,  it was unquestionably one of their most commanding.   The Mudcats chased the Rangers from the opening puck drop until they just couldn’t chase anymore and had to settle for hanging on as best they could.   In fact, the outcome easily could have been much worse if not for some erratic shooting by the Rangers — they launched 40 shots on the net, and it seemed at least as many at the net which failed to find the mark — and some intrepid goaltending by Dunnville’s  Owen McDonnell.

Again and again, the Rangers penetrated the Mudcats’ zone in waves; at times circling the net carousel-like and bombarding McDonnell with shots from all angles.  At least five times, he foiled Ranger shooters on clear breakaways.   Glanbrook manufactured a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period on goals by Crombie, Cooper Hood and Harrison Farrugia, then added single tallies in the second period (Crombie again) and third frame (Eric Taylor) to complete the romp.  Tiago Rocha, by contrast,  faced only 17 shots in the Rangers’ net, handling them all to post his second shutout and 12th win of the season.

So, with the three-week rest period looming (Glanbrook returns to action  on Jan. 4, 2023 against the Port Dover Sailors at 7:30 p.m., Glanbrook Arena), the Rangers have time to reflect, recharge and prepare for the next phase of what they hope will continue to be a very successful season.

“I still don’t think we are where we need to be as a team,” said Glanbrook coach Andrew Tait.  “The break gives us time to fine-tune things, and heal some little injuries.”

While Tait acknowledged that an interval in the midst of such a fruitful run can sometimes be a momentum-killer, he doesn’t believe the Rangers will suffer that fate.

“The guys are pretty self-motivated,” he said.  “And we will skate during the break.   Although you can never really mimic the speed and intensity of game conditions, it will help.  Hopefully, the guys won’t just sit around and eat too much turkey and sweets.”

And while it might be a bit early for New Year’s resolutions, Crombie says that the Rangers already have their sights set on new targets for 2023.

“Our objective stays the same,” he said.  “We aim to continue working as a unit and keep our win streak going.  We are focused on coming out hot in the new year and setting the tone for the remainder of the season.

 NOTES:  Glanbrook’s 15-game win streak is the longest current streak in the league and third-best overall behind Essex’s 18 wins in a row and Napanee’s 16 … Sean Golebiowski’s five-game goal-scoring streak came to an end against Dunnville, but the Ranger captain (the aforementioned third-best scorer in the PJHL with 47 points), had three assists to push his point-scoring streak to a Mitch Marner-like 20 games, the longest in the PJHL this season.  He still leads the PJHL with 25 goals …   Hood’s goal was his 19th of the season, which kept him tied for fourth in league scoring with 42 points. He is on an 18-game point-scoring streak, the second-longest in the league this year …  Some of those little injuries that Tait mentioned include defencemen Daniel Vella, Ryan Reaves and Tyler Mulholland, who joined the team a couple of weeks ago, but is still nursing a minor hurt.  All are expected to be ready for action when the season resumes.