Ryan Takamatsu tallied a goal and added an assist but Austin Eastman scored in overtime as the Lindsay Muskies rallied to edge the North York Rangers 5-4 on Sunday.
The loss snapped North York’s four-game win streak, and is the Rangers’ first defeat of the 2015 calendar year.
Afterward, North York head coach Mark Joslin was very disappointed with his club’s compete level.
“I was not happy with the attitude around the rink, even before the game,” Joslin said.
“I felt we had a chance to make up some ground in our division, which is probably the tightest in the league, and it is just disappointing that we blew a lead like that due to what appeared to be overconfidence in the result of the game. That attitude really did us in.”
Ryan Takamatsu opened the scoring with 9.8 seconds left in the first period on an impressive give-and-go play with Matthew Whittaker; and then Gabe Valenzuela doubled the lead a minute into the second period from in tight on Muskies’ goaltender Boyd Diclemente.
And then when Will Reilly’s point shot when in off of Lindsay defender Sean McLaren at the 3:07-mark of the middle frame, it appeared that the game might be a rout.
It was not to be.
Lindsay forwards Matt Tustin, Owen Barnett, and Keegan Cairns tallied three goals in a row to tie the contest at three by the 3:52-mark of the third period.
Then, after Luke Kutkevicius one-timed home a nice feed from Zach Fisher 8:43 into the third, Logan DeNoble brought the game even at fours with under five minutes remaining in regulation, slipping a low backhand through North York goaltender Evgueni Makarski’s legs.
Eastman banked in his overtime winner from a bad angle off Makarski at 4:20 of overtime.
“There was a little bit of selfishness that seeped in once we were up three,” Joslin said.
“The guys were not moving the puck like they’re supposed to in the systems with which we have been successful. I think it’s a little bit of standings watching…you expect a team like Kingston to be tough in their own barn, but then you have a home game against Lindsay and you think everything is going to come easy. Obviously nobody in this league is going to give us anything.”
With the point, the Rangers sit alone in third place in the South Division, one point behind the division leading Toronto Jr. Canadiens and Toronto Patriots.
North York is back in action next Sunday when it hosts the St. Michael’s Buzzers in the final Battle of Bathurst of the 2014/15 season. There are only 11 games remaining in the regular season.
“We have three practices and a week off before our next game,” Joslin said.
“So we’re going to battle and compete every one of these practices, and try to make sure these guys know they have to battle and compete every time they come to the rink.”