It was tough, gritty, and much much needed.
The North York Rangers and Oakville Blades put in a very gritty performance Sunday afternoon, with the host Rangers finding a way to pull out a 3-1 victory at Victoria Village Arena in front of a brilliant 29-save performance by Jeremie Lintner.
North York head coach Geoff Schomogyi was thrilled with his club’s performance post-game.
“We are really really happy, with both of the wins this weekend,” he said.
“The boys really fought hard today, blocking shots, doing the little things we ask them to do, and Lintner stood tall in the end. It is nice to get the two wins, and especially against a tough opponent like Oakville – one that we have a ton of respect for – so we’re really happy.”
A very even first period resulted in only a single goal: a sweet finish on an even sweeter feed from the corner by Jack Jeffers to rookie defenceman Matthew Kellenberger, who made no mistake in alone on Lintner at 10:34.
The contest was evened up 4:35 into the second period when Chris Sekelyk blasted a wrister past Blades’ goaltender Brendan McGlynn on a two-on-one with Louis Kereakou.
A key moment of the game came at 7:10 of the middle frame when Rangers’ Peter Muzyka and Kereakou received minor penalties on the same play, giving the Blades a two minute two-man advantage. Lintner and the Rangers killers kept Oakville’s shooters at bay, snatching back the momentum from the high-powered Blades.
It was a hotly contested game that deserved a greasy goal to win it, and that is exactly what happened as Keegan Blasby chipped home a loose puck in the crease after a nifty rush by James Fletcher was stopped by McGlynn at the 12:04-mark of the middle frame.
Joey Maziarz would seal it with an empty netter with two seconds remaining on the clock after a hard-fought third period.
Lintner’s 29 stops proved crucial in the gritty win that extended North York’s win streak to two games.
“It is really important for us when Jeremie is right,” said Schomogyi.
“He was battling a bit of the flu to be honest over the last while, so I think he got over it and is back to himself it looks like, and was really great for us today.”
North York has a busy three games in three days weekend coming up, beginning with a Friday night trip to Burlington to battle the Cougars. The club makes its return to the Herb Carnegie Centennial Arena Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. for a contest vs. the Cobourg Cougars.
Story by Jamie Neugebauer, Dir. of Communications
Photo by OJHL Images