By Jamie Neugebauer
Ted Hunt notched three power-play goals while Jake Harris added a goal and an assist as the North York Rangers edged the Georgetown Raiders 5-4 in overtime in pre-season action on Friday night.
Gianluca Baggetta and Andrew Cipollone split the net for the Rangers, who only have one more exhibition game before the regular season kicks off for real on Sept. 5th.
Although North York had to battle back from behind on four separate occasions, head coach Mark Joslin saw the whole contest as progress.
“I think it’s all positive,” he said.
“It’s pre-season, we had the lead but lost it, but we showed character and battled back and had three power play goals; so there are a lot of positives to take out of this game.”
Francois Cote opened the scoring for the visiting Raiders at the 13:43 mark of the first period, but Harris responded on a beautiful breakaway move just under three minutes later to tie it up at one.
Brendan Jacome’s power-play marker on a five-on-three a mere 26 seconds into the middle frame began the see-saw nature of the game, but Ted Hunt’s back-door bang in and Nicola Zanette’s snap shot less than two minutes later gave the Rangers their first lead heading into the third period.
Lucas Dybowski and Blake Jones replied at the 2:59 and 5:59 marks for Georgetown, respectively, but Hunt’s screened wrist shot with 9:37 remaining in regulation tied it once again for North York.
Hunt one-timed a nice feed from Matthew Whittaker with 39 seconds left in overtime to give the Rangers the victory.
A big key to the win was the power play, as the young North York squad adjusted to the Raiders’ aggressive style to full effect in the second half of the game.
“We had guys moving because their penalty kill was coming at us ultra-aggressive,” Joslin said.
“We didn’t want anyone stationary and Teddy did an incredible of finding open ice. His teammates did a nice job of finding him, but he doesn’t get those chances if he isn’t moving his legs and working for them.”
The Rangers were without Zack Fisher, Will Reilly and Luke Kutkevicious, who were all away at Ontario Hockey League camps.
North York heads into its final pre-season game on Sept. 3 at Georgetown with an exhibition record of 2-2.