Rangers battle Toronto JRC in playoff first round

MARKHAM, ON - NOVEMBER 2: Goaltender Eli Shiller #31 of the North York Rangers makes the save during the first period. North York Rangers vs Markham Royals on November 2, 2019 at Markham Centennial Arena in Markham, Ontario, Canada. (Ray MacAloney / OJHL Images)
February 25, 2020

8:39 AM EST

For the second consecutive year, the North York Rangers and Toronto Jr. Canadien go head-to-head in the first round of the OJHL Buckland Cup Playoffs. JRC won five of the six meetings during the regular season, but three of those contest went to overtime.

In a rebuilding season, where North York welcomed 15 new players to the roster, they were able to clinch fourth place in the South Division with a 21-25-4-4 record. Saying that the Rangers played their best hockey down the stretch going 5-2-0-2 in their last nine games. North York will rely on their top line of Tyler Flack and Cole O’Hara who both finished with 64 points this season. The team needs to be fully committed to the defensive end and blocking numerous shots to have a chance in slowing down JRC. Whoever starts between goaltender duo Eli Shiller and James Gray, they will face a ton of shots.

Toronto, on the other hand, are all in this season. They added CJ Clarke, Ryan Pitoscia, Brock Hill and Emmett Gordon near the deadline in anticipation on a deep playoff run. Similar to the Rangers last year, JRC have at least eight players in their last season in Junior A hockey. It is all or nothing for this squad, which means all the pressure is on them to succeed. Goaltender Christian Mattiace will continue to be the bell cow for the Canadiens. He posted top tear numbers in the OJHL going 28-10-2 with 2.32 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.


Game 1: Wednesday, February 26th at 7:30pm
Game 2: Saturday, February 29th at 7:00pm
Game 3: Sunday, March 1st at 3:00pm
Game 4: Wednesday, March 4th at 8:00pm

Game 5: Friday, March 6th at 8:15pm
Game 6: Sunday, March 8th at 3:00pm
Game 7: Monday March 9th at 7:45pm

* Rangers home games are bolded*