"Right now, we have our two goaltenders, seven defensemen with one of them acting as special "AP" for October, as well as 11 forwards and four of them are special "AP's" for the month." said Brad Dupasquier, Head Coach of the Midget AAA Rangers.
AP stands for an alternate player. It's just a distinction made due to the fact you're only allowed 20 roster players, so alternate players have 10 games that they can play throughout the season without leaving the team they are registered for besides the Rangers, but once they go over that 10 they must join the team. A special "AP" can play in all of the Rangers 12 games in October, and will still be marked down as 0 come November.
The Rangers played five games in the preseason, going 2-1-2.
"We were very good at times, and not so good at times," said Dupasquier. "We were still going through the selection process. We had seven players still vying for a spot, so we didn't have our strongest lineup every game, but then again all the teams are in the same boat."
The Rangers will play their home opener this Friday against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
"They are extremely strong this year," said Dupasquier. "They have a group that's moved up from Peewee and Bantam, and although they don't have a ton of 17-year-olds, the ones they do have are very strong. The coaching staff has also moved up with them, so they will be strong, but I believe when we get our group together, there isn't anyone in the league we can't compete with."
Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at Credit Union Place.
"This program has come a long way over the past few years," said Dupasquier. "It used to sometimes not be a competitive game when fans came. Now with the players coming in, and some of the leaders coming in, the culture has changed. I can almost guarantee that the game will be competitive, fast, and aggressive. It will be exciting to watch."
The Rangers remain home on Saturday to take on the Interlake Lightning, puck drop for that game is also set for 7:00 p.m.