They didn’t come away with any victories, but the Parkland Rangers arguably played their best games of the season, this past weekend in Winnipeg.
Kyler Swanton made 36 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Wild on Saturday, then stopped another 32 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss, Sunday afternoon.
Rangers head coach Tyler Carefoot said it was arguably the most successful weekend the team has had as a group this season.
“It just came down to commitment to team defence, some guts and just competing. That’s the expectation. And after the second game, I straight up said, that’s what we’ve been looking for all season,” he said. “If we keep playing like this, as hard as it is, we’ll be a tough out, but I also think we’ll probably win a few games, too. Hopefully this can end up being the turning point for this group.”
Swanton had his best games of the season, which Carefoot said was nice to see.
“It’s safe to say, he’d be the first guy to tell you that he’s been a little off throughout the season. But for him to come back, especially after nursing an injury the week before, he was just solid,” he said.
Luke Myhre had a strong weekend, netting three goals and an assist in the two games. Carefoot said he was the best player on the ice for both teams.
“For a 15-year-old, he plays a 200-foot game. He’s a power forward who takes key faceoffs matched up against the opponent’s best. He not only produced on the game sheet, but more importantly, he had an impact everywhere in both games,” he said. “To get two points versus a championship caliber program feels great for everyone, players, coaches and parents.”
Havryil Simchuk, the Ukrainian-born player, had another strong weekend, scoring a goal in each game. He now has points in all four games he has played.
“He adds some more depth and he was good. He’s responsible and you can count on him to make the right play and moving the puck around, too,” Carefoot said. “It’s just exciting. It’s nice to be in a meaningful game and it’s nice, as a coach, to pull strings, to get the right pieces on the ice in certain times. And the players themselves, they were in a battle and I think they all felt good about it.”
Carefoot hopes the team can keep the momentum going when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings, tonight at 7:30 p.m., and the Eastman Selects, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
“If we can just keep battling, I think we’ll be alright,” he said.