By Jamie Neugebauer
The old hockey adage that good teams find ways to win is true, but that can never happen without solid goaltending.
In North York’s 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon over the Cobourg Cougars, Ranger net minder Jason Pucciarelli was more than solid – he was spectacular.
“Pooch did a number on that team and really gave us a chance to win,” said North York head coach John Dean post-game.
“He was a monster for 40 minutes and then in the third period the guys rose to the occasion and gave him a great effort and we came away with the two points. We found a way to win today and I’m excited about it.”
Two scoreless periods elapsed as Pucciarelli and the North York defence withstood waves of Cobourg pressure.
Then 3:34 into the third, Brody Power threw a puck on net that Phillip Chadder redirected past Cougar goaltender Nathan Perry to open the scoring.
Liam Kerins doubled the lead when he unleashed one of his patented one-timers with the man-advantage just over two minutes later.
Afterward, Dean was thrilled with the performance of his blue line.
“Guys like Jeremy Szabo – who plays like a 20 year old even though he’s 18 – really stepped up,” he said.
“I really like the way our D-corps right now; I am really excited about the way they played the last two games. Kudos to Cobourg – they forecheck like crazy – but our guys were just awesome today.”
John Carpino extended his point-scoring streak to 10 games with his assist on Kerins’ goal and cracked the top-3 in league scoring with 43 points in 29 games.
The shutout was Pucciarelli’s first of the campaign and he is now unbeaten in five-straight starts, giving up a mere six goals over that span.
He ended up with 34 saves on the day.
North York is next in action on Friday night as it travels to Milton to take on the Icehawks, puck drops at 7:30p.