Ranger under the radar

DARREN FRIESEN, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Scott Ranger is a team player but tonight he's playing for himself.

Ranger, a first-year Calgary Roughneck, hopes to help his squad win its fourth straight game but, in doing so, the 23-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., native is anxious to show the San Jose Stealth what they're missing.

"I'm excited about (the game) because I owe these guys some redemption," said Ranger, who will return to San Jose tonight for the first time since being released by the Stealth in the summer.

"I've kind of got a chip on my shoulder going into this game."

Adding to his intensity, Ranger said losing their first game to the Stealth Jan. 12 is further reason to want to beat San Jose.

"Nobody likes losing, especially in your home-opener, and I don't think I was treated all that well down there," he said.

"Team comes first, obviously, but personally I've got a vendetta.

"I'm excited to get out there and prove that they made a mistake by letting me go."

Among his list of complaints with the Stealth, Ranger cites a lack of playing time that contributed to the two sides parting ways.

"Not getting the opportunity to show what I could do and having to pay rent and that kind of stuff," said Ranger.

"It wasn't horrible but it definitely wasn't a good situation.

"Obviously, the weather in San Jose is great and you're an hour away from the beach. I also coached field lacrosse down there and made some extra money but there's not a lot going on for a younger guy, so that's a bit tough.

"In San Jose, nobody lives there. There were like six guys that lived there and everybody was so different that nobody hung out together."

The situation in Calgary is a lot different.

"The guys are all living here and they're great," said Ranger.

"Also, you can work here and you always get to hear the national anthem at your home games, which is kind of a cool feeling."

Ranger had a breakout game last weekend against the Minnesota Swarm.

The 5-ft. 11-in., 190-lb. forward scored his first career hat-trick in the National Lacrosse League and also matched his regular-season goal total for the last two years.

Ranger knows the Roughnecks are the favourites tonight but they're going to have to execute their game plan if they expect to keep pace in the competitive Western Division.

"We definitely have a little chip on our shoulder because of the overtime loss, so everyone knows that this is a must win game for us."

CLEAR CHOICE IN NET:

Despite a brilliant performance by backup Ryan Avery, who came in relief of starter Andrew Leyshon last Saturday, Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott said the goaltending situation is clear.

Avery made 27 saves on 34 shots in a little more than two quarters against the Minnesota Swarm.

However, Silcott insists Leyshon is the starter.

"Leyshon's still the guy for sure," he said.

"Avery came in and sparked the team nicely, which is exactly what you want your backup to come in and do. He played well but there's no doubt what the pecking order is in goal on this team."

This season, Leyshon has a 13.73 goals against average and a .730 save percentage.


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