Ture Linden led the way with two goals and Matt Galli notched his first of the year for the winner as the North York Rangers cruised past the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Herb Carnegie Centennial Arena.
Defencemen Shawn Tessier and Joey Maziarz both added three helpers on the day, while Jeremie Lintner made 27 stops for his eighth victory of the campaign.
North York head coach Geoff Schomogyi’s post-game comments surrounded on the club finally getting rewarded for the work they had been putting in.
“It feels really good,” he said.
“The boys have really been battling hard; we just haven’t gotten the breaks and the bounces. We just have the mentality of battling through it and working hard so it’s nice to take two points out of it finally. We are trying to play good hockey regardless of the score, we haven’t always gotten the results but if we keep putting the effort in we’ll get some more victories. Hockey often rewards those that don’t quit on the process, so that’s what we’re preaching.”
Louis Kereakou got the Rangers off on the right foot a mere 28 seconds into the contest when he went to the net hard, and tapped in a beautiful feed from a hard-charging Nick Zanette, who had been streaking down the left wing.
Zanette got his own goal at the 15:32-mark of the opening frame when his rip from the left circle on a North York power play trickled over the line behind Buffalo net minder Tucker Weppner.
Linden scored his first with two seconds left on the clock in the first on a well-aimed wrister in the slot after receiving a pretty feed from Joey Maziarz, and then Galli made it four when he smoothly collected a loose puck from below the goal-line and roofed it 6:20 into the middle frame.
Colton McKenna scored on a breakaway at 7:39 and Cameron Radziwon on a one-timer on a Jr. Sabres 5-on-3 at 14:45, but Linden extended the Rangers’ lead back to three 2:55 into the third period when a Tessier point shot ricocheted off a body, then off his face and into the net.
Adam Giacomin’s point shot, also on a power play, evaded Weppner just under a minute later to put a cherry on North York’s victory, before Bill McGwin turned and fired past Lintner for a consolation marker just over a minute left in regulation.
The Rangers scored four of their six goals with the man advantage, a fact Schomogyi attributes to their simplifying things on the power play.
“We went to more of a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of look,” he said, “just throwing some pucks to the net and get to the net and get some good things to happen. You saw it on the Linden goal when it hit him on the face and went in; that would not have happened if he didn’t go to that dirty area to score a power-play goal.”
The win came after the Rangers fell 5-0 the night before in Stouffville.
North York’s turnaround is quick as they will remain at home to take on the Burlington Cougars on Wednesday evening at the Herb, puck drops at 8 p.m.