By Jamie Neugebauer
Sometimes in hockey things simply do not go your way; pucks bounce over sticks, opponents wrist-shots have eyes and opposing goalies make big saves, and it is in those games that the only way back is to claw, scratch and battle.
On Friday in Oakville, the Rangers had one of those games, as they fought back against 3-0 and 5-3 leads but came up just short, falling 5-4 in the end.
Franco Loparco and his two goals led the North York comebacks, while Chris Aitcheson pitched in three assists in the effort.
Twice head coach John Dean’s men came within one; once when a Pat Piacentini point shot deflected off Corey Kalk with 25 seconds remaining in the second period to make it 4-3, and also when Liam Kerins snapped home his 23rd of the year to make the score 5-4 with under six minutes left in regulation.
The Rangers dominated big stretches of the third, outshooting the Blades 15-6 and throwing shots from everywhere at Oakville goaltender Evan Buitenhuis, but it was not to be on the night.
Friday was not all bad news, however, as St. Mike’s defeat at the hands of Milton means that North York retains sole possession of first place in the South Division for the time being.
The boys in blue return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, puck drops at 3:00 pm at the Herb.