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Rangers tie for first in hockey league

Estacada's Rangers beat Prairie High School 3-2 and claimed their league co-title.

If West Linn and Estacada had both won their games, the Rangers could have claimed an outright league championship in its inaugural season in the Oregon High School Hockey League last week.

The team showed up early to watch West Linn play Lincoln. But the Cardinals prevailed 3-1, putting Estacada in a must-win situation to tie Lincoln for the title.

Estacada's Rangers beat Prairie High School 3-2 and claimed their league co-title. The Rangers will enter the playoffs on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 5:15 p.m. at Mt. View Ice Arena in Vancouver, Wash. with the no. 1 seed. Estacada gets the top seed because they won the tie-breaking formula.

'I could not be more proud of what we accomplished this season,' said Estacada Coach Rhys Anderson. 'We started the season as a new team against established programs and took first place. We battle through injuries all season. This is a testament to how hard the kids worked. I'm excited about our chances in the playoffs.'

With a 3-1 lead and time dwindling, first place was in sight for the Rangers, but by misplaying the puck they made it an exciting match with 40 seconds left. Prairie scored with 40 seconds and pulled their goalie to go for a win, but failed to get off a shot before the final horn sounded.

Estacada traveled to Bremerton, Wash., last weekend to play in the Battle for the Sounds Tournament against 13 teams from Oregon, Washington and Canada.

The Rangers finished the weekend with 3 wins and 1 loss, scoring 17 goals and giving up just 6. Estacada had a better goal differential than 10 teams and outscored nine teams, but 'due to a very complicated method of figuring the tie breakers and most of the teams being strong on the Rangers' side of the bracket, the Rangers ended up placing 11th in the tourney,' said the team manager, Randy Johnson.