By Jamie Neugebauer, Staff Writer
Patriots captain Kyle Dutra scored the winner with 12 seconds left in the game as Toronto Lakeshore ruined the Rangers’ season opener by handing them a 3-2 defeat at Herb Carnegie Arena on Wednesday.
Avery Allen was superb in the North York net; making 29 saves on 32 shots while Michael Giacometti and Taylor Pryce both scored their first goals in a Ranger uniform.
North York head coach John Dean was disappointed afterwards, and believes that his team gave the game away.
“It was definitely heart-breaking, and definitely not pretty,” he said. “[Toronto Lakeshore] didn’t win that game, we lost that game, we didn’t follow our systems and the bottom line is we lost a ton of our assignments.”
A breakdown in coverage left Lakeshore forward Dylan Carter alone in the slot 7:15 into the first period, and the fourth year Patriot made no mistake high glove side on Allen.
Giacometti’s point-shot went off of a Lakeshore player on the power play two-and-a-half minutes later to tie the game at one.
Taylor Price, who was acquired from Pickering in the off-season, jammed home the Rangers’ second game-tying goal at 11:47 of the third period on a rebound after Luke Carter had given the Patriots the lead again in the second frame.
Yet the moment of heartbreak came for North York when an Alex D’Oliveira point shot went wide, bounced off the end boards, and landed on Dutra’s stick at 19:48 of the final stanza.
The veteran made no mistake.
“We watched that last goal about 15 times,” Dean said outside of his office where he had been watching the film. “There are about four huge missed assignments.
“[Toronto Lakeshore] played a good game, but that game was on us.”
The Rangers will look to get back to .500 on Saturday when they travel to Chesswood Arena to take on the Toronto Jr. Canadians; puck drops at 7:30 PM.
Notes: Adam Valadao and Liam Kerins were both out with injuries … North York went 2-for-7 on the power play, while not giving up a ppg against in four Patriot opportunities.