By Jamie Neugebauer
Liam Kerins and John Carpino lit up the scoreboard and Gianluca Baggetta was solid once again in goal as the North York Rangers hammered the Northeast Conference leading Kingston Voyageurs 5-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Kerins blasted two power-play goals from similar locations and added a wraparound for the natural hat trick and North York extended its streak to six wins out of the last eight games.
After the game, Rangers head coach John Dean explained his club’s focus going into a matchup with the team that many feel is the most physical in the league.
“We definitely emphasized being physical and disciplined,” he said, “but we also emphasized that we need to capitalize on the power play because the only way to stop teams from being overly physical is to score with the man advantage.
“We went two-for-two to start the game and I think it helped the guys settle down and it let us play our game.”
The line of Kerins, Carpino and Adam Valadao exploded for a combined 10 points after it was the unit centred by Gabriel Valenzuela that did the damage on Friday in Wellington.
Carpino, who scored the eventual game-winner for the Rangers at 6:13 of the first period with a pretty toe-drag and wrist shot, added two assists and was highly effective in creating space for Kerins on the power play.
“I thought Carpino did a great job of collapsing Kingston’s box by sending it down low and attacking,” Dean said.
“That opened up Kerins on the far side and as you saw, with Kerins’ NHL-calibre slap shot, if he has time and space he is going to do damage.”
Patrick Piacentini and Zachary Fung also added multi-point games while Baggetta made 27 saves for his first career Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout.
“I think our work ethic and commitment has shown the last few games,” Dean added, “but I don’t think we’re too high at all because I think this group of guys has been so humbled by our rough start that I don’t think they will ever get too high.”
The Rangers will try to make it seven out of nine on Monday night when they travel to Cobourg to take on the Cougars, puck drops at 7 p.m.