By Jamie Neugebauer
The North York Rangers took another step up the ladder on Friday night as they won a dramatic Game 6, 2-1 over Buffalo in overtime, to clinch the second round best-of-seven series.
After a Junior Sabres’ goal was called off in the first extra period, the Rangers continued to press and Corey Kalk, who has been leading the league in playoff scoring to date, scored his second career playoff game-winner at 10:17 of the second overtime.
North York goaltender Jason Pucciarelli was fantastic from the drop of the puck, making 50 of 51 saves while in the series as a whole, the Newmarket native stopped 122 of 126 shots at home.
Franco Loparco got the Rangers on the board at 10:48 of the second period, sniping home a nice slot feed from call-up Max Novick.
Buffalo’s Ryan Schmelzer tied it up with about 10 minutes remaining in the third although it appeared as though he had batted the puck into the net.
Junior Sabres forward Pat Egan looked like he had won the game in the first overtime when he banged the puck home to the left of Pucciarelli, but the officials ruled that the net had come off its moorings before it crossed the line.
Then John Carpino found Kalk on a mini two-on-one in the second OT and the Dartmouth commit made no mistake, squeezing a puck through Buffalo net-minder Parker Gahagen to send the North York bench into frenzy.
The goaltending on display from both teams was sensational as there were a combined three goals on 115 shots in the game (the Rangers outshot the Sabres 64-51 in the contest).
North York will now move on to face the St. Michael’s Buzzers in the Southwest Conference final with Game 1 likely coming on Monday at St. Mike’s Arena.
Be sure to tune in to http://northyorkrangers.pointstreaksites.com/view/northyorkrangers for Round 3’s schedule.