It goes without saying that a pair of 5-1 defeats at the hands of the Whitby Fury and Trenton Golden Hawks were not what the North York Rangers had in mind for the 2016 Governor’s Showcase this past Monday and Tuesday in Buffalo, N.Y.
That being said, it was not a complete loss.
“I think we learned a lot from it,” said Rangers captain Kyle Clarke.
“It definitely did not go as we planned it, and we realized that we have a long way to go before we can compete and be legitimate contenders in this league. However, I think we were able to learn what we need to do, and how we need to be better, and so we can certainly take some positives from it.”
It was the league’s second leading scorer Nik Coric that put on a show with a goal and two assists in the Monday afternoon 5-1 loss to Whitby, while his line mates Brock Welsh and Ryan Taylor also added multi-point showings.
A bright spot was the positive debut of new Ranger defender Matthew Ferrari, who was the benefactor of a good start to the second period when he snapped a perfectly aimed wrist shot from the high slot that cut the Fury’s lead to 2-1.
Jacob Hutchings made 18 stops in the North York net in his second career Junior ‘A’ start.
Tuesday afternoon’s contest against the Trenton Golden Hawks, Canada’s No. 1 ranked team, yielded a much better effort, despite the identical result.
Veteran and leading scorer Lucas Brown started the scoring with a neat tip on the power play 13:24 into the game on a Louis DiMatteo point shot, and it was all Hawks from there.
Shawn Tessier’s one timer at the 15:46-mark of the second period made it 4-1 at the time, and the Rangers showed some signs of life, but Trenton’s tempo and tenacity proved too much for the North York team.
Ranger goaltender Jeremie Lintner was absolutely spectacular in the loss, making 36 often-difficult stops.
Yet despite the tough lessons, head coach Geoff Schomogyi also saw positives.
“Buffalo did a great job of hosting the showcase event,” he said.
“It was very well run and a great opportunity for our players to play in front of a lot of scouts and schools. It was a good chance for us to play two great teams, and see how we stack up against Trenton and Whitby, who are very strong teams from the other conference. We have to learn from both of those games and take what we have learned, and start making progress as a team.”
The Rangers will turn around and head back to Buffalo Friday evening for a contest against the Junior Sabres, the club North York eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Story by Jamie Neugebauer, NYR Director of Communications
Photo by OJHL Images