Bedtime routine really sticks out

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

The night before a game, Scott Ranger says goodnight to his fiancee, then safely puts his stick next to the bed.

Warding off the lacrosse demons, the stick stands waiting for action and providing comfort to the Calgary Roughnecks forward.

Obviously, Ranger's bride-to-be, Jill, can get a little jealous of those laces.

"Usually, I'm playing with the strings, making sure it's not too tight and there are no holes and she will be clicking around the TV or hitting me on the shoulder to make me pay attention to her," said Ranger. "The stick keeps its eyes open, making sure everything is ready to go. It keeps me focused."

Ranger's superstition seems to have worked recently as his stick got hot at the right time.

With the help of his sidekick, Ranger potted eight goals in the past two games as the Roughnecks secured a home playoff game. When Calgary faces Arizona Saturday (7:30 p.m.), his usual game-day ritual will kick in and it gets more complicated.

"The shoes and clothes have to be correct," said the 23-year-old. "A few of the other guys come with me to Boston Pizza on 16 Ave. for pasta: Chicken parmigiana with spaghetti. We have to stop at a specific coffee shop on the way to the shootaround ... there's far too much stuff."

Part of the reason why Ranger sticks to schedules so closely is because he's a diabetic and needs to keep an eye on details. During games, he will check his blood sugar at halftime and the trainers always keep a Gatorade bottle on the bench in case he needs a quick fix.

"I have really good control of my diabetes," said the righty. "I have more highs than lows due to the adrenaline from the game. The boys looked at me weird the first few times (I checked my blood sugar). Now they make sure I've done it every time."

The Nanaimo native moved to Calgary before the season, in part because Jill is going to the University of Calgary. He then signed as a free agent with the Roughnecks.

Coming off two seasons with San Jose where he only played in nine games, he expected a battle for playing time. After notching 24 goals and finishing fourth on the team, the future is bright. He will stay in Calgary this summer and can't wait for the Stampede because he's a huge country music fan.

There is also the wedding on the horizon in August. But Ranger still chocks up a lot of things in his life to good luck, whether that's his personal life or on the floor. He's feeling full of good fortune.

"I had a couple of lucky games personally," said Ranger. "If you get a couple of goals, you start to feel confident and the ball goes in the next time easier than if you are fighting it."


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