Ranger makes most of rare game out of lineup

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

Of all the disappointed people watching last week's loss to the Portland LumberJax, probably the most upset was forward Scott Ranger.

For the first time since joining the Calgary Roughnecks in 2007, Ranger didn't have his name pencilled into the lineup.

The result was a 11-9 loss to the Jax at home, but the last thing Ranger would do is complain about the decision.

"It's hard to watch, though," said Ranger. "One of the things I hate to do most of all is watch my own team play.

"But it was a good wakeup call for me to watch the boys, see what we were doing right and what we were doing incorrectly.

"You can take it either way, and I believe I took it as a learning tool. It wasn't nice to have the game off, but you have to do what the coaches tell you."

Ranger led the Riggers in scoring a season ago, although that was after Lewis Ratcliff was sent to Toronto. Ranger finished the season with 27 goals and 66 points.

By his own admission, he struggled early this season because the Riggers had more offensive weapons and he wasn't being leaned on for his booming shot.

Still, Ranger has played 14 games and contributed 16 goals and 32 helpers.

After sitting against Portland Friday, he returned to action Saturday and had three helpers and a key fourth-quarter goal in a 14-13 win over the Edmonton Rush.

"It was nice to get out there and battle again," Ranger said.

"It helped to eliminate the thoughts about what I was doing wrong.

"If I had a week off, I would be thinking about it all the time.

"It was nice to get back into the lineup and contribute as much as I can."

Ranger and the Riggers get another chance at the LumberJax tonight in Portland before opening the post-season two weeks from now at home.

Ranger realizes his spot isn't set in stone.

"Coaches can see something with somebody and may want to get them into the lineup," Ranger said.

"With the guys on our team, we all have confidence in each other," he said.

"If it happens to be me out, or whoever, there are capable guys to fill the lineup spots.

"That depth is key to our success."


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