Rangers come up just short over Thanksgiving weekend

WELLINGTON, ON - OCTOBER 10: Ben Addison #20 of the Wellington Dukes makes the hit on North York Rangers player. North York Rangers Hockey Club vs Wellington Dukes on October 10, 2019 at Wellington and District Community Centre in Wellington, Ontario, Canada. (Ed McPherson / OJHL Images)
October 14, 2019

6:13 AM EDT

The North York Rangers pick up a couple points against top tear teams in the league this past Thanksgiving weekend. The young roster continues to strides in the right direction.

Rangers @ Dukes

It all started on Thursday with a road trip to Wellington in a conference final rematch from last year’s playoff. Even though both rosters are completely different there were no love lost. The Dukes scored the lone goal in the first on the powerplay thanks to Ben Evans to take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Rangers displayed their potential in the second, exploding for three goals in just over two minutes. Dimello Smith got things going just before the midway point of the frame, while Daniel Petrccia and Adam Panacci chipped in shortly after. It actually led to Wellington yanking starting goalie Matthew Keely after giving up three goals on 15 shots in favour of Matthew Dunsmoor. It sparked the home team as Jake Gagnon scored 37 seconds after the switch to cut the deficit to 3-2. North York retook the lead off the stick of Michael Pereira at 16:58. The visitors had a two goal lead heading into the final period.

The defending South-West conference champion didn’t go down lightly. Jacob Vreugdenhil found the back of the net at 7:50 inch within a goal. Less than two minutes later Ryan Smith evened up the score at 4-4.

The two teams weren’t about to decide a winner in both overtimes to end the contest at four a piece.

Ranger goaltender Eli Shiller was amazing in game especially in overtime. The Toronto, Ont., native made nine of his 44 saves in the extra frame.

Rangers vs Golden Hawks

North York had a couple days off until hosting the Trenton Golden Hawks at home on Sunday. The first period was a track meet with both teams getting their fair share of chances. The score remained scoreless after one.

Trenton was able to find the back off the net first off a power play. Captain and lead scorer Samuel Duchesne point shot somehow got through three bodies in front and hit mesh at 3:56. North York responded on their first power play chance. Rookie Myles Perry went bar down on the faceoff circle to even the score at ones at 8:33. The wheels came off for the Rangers right after. The Golden Hawks tallied four goals in the span of six minutes starting at the 12:02 mark to take a 5-1 into the final intermission.

The Rangers could not mount a comeback in the third. Captain Tyler Flack converted on a breakaway at 13:49 to end a four-pointless streak. They fell 5-2 to pick up their three straight loss at home.

James Gray stopped 39 shots in the game for North York.

Rangers @ Jr. Canadiens

Less than 24 hours on Thanksgiving Monday, the Rangers travelled a bit south to battle the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.

Things got off to a good spot for the visitors. While shorthanded Tyler Flack found Adam Panacci in front for the opening goal at 7:31. The Rangers held on to that advantage until midway through the second. JRC captain Matthew O’Brien was in the right spot at the right time to tally the equalizer at 13:33. After two period the score sat 1-1.

Special teams came through for the Rangers once again in the third, this time on the power play. Victor Polowy point shot beat Toronto’s goalie Curtis Boothe at 15:55. When it looked like North York was going to get a Thanksgiving treat, the JR. Canadiens responded. With the goalie pulled Matthew O’Brien pushed on in with only 15 seconds left to force overtime.

The home team waste anytime picking up the winner less than a minute in off the stick of Ben Keon.

Shiller stopped 34 shots to pick up the loss for North York.