The North York Rangers dropped a 4-3 decision in an incredible battle against the Toronto Patriots.
The Rangers would allow the first goal of the power play midway through the contest. At 10:24, Oliver Benwell found an open slot near the crease to get the puck to Andrew Petrucci, who knocked it in close on Colby Muise to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
Despite the early goal, Muise was tough to beat in the first. In fact, he made two incredible diving stops, both worthy of save-of-the-year candidates for Rangers goaltenders. His athleticism helped keep the Rangers in the game early against the Patriots, a team that have equaled North York’s success all season long.
Jesse Tucker would put the Rangers up heading into the second period. At 18:51, Kyle Clarke fed Jesse Tucker, who’s wrist shot proved to be way too dangerous for Tyler Fassl to give the Rangers the 2-1 lead.
The Patriots would score next, but they couldn’t find a way to take back the lead. On another Toronto power play, Evan Benwell deflected the puck off of an odd-man rush, knocking in Petrucci’s feed to make it 2-2 at 8:03.
At 11:09, though, the Rangers struck back. Tucker would score a nearly identical goal, taking another pass from Clarke before firing it over Fassl’s glove and in for the go-ahead goal heading into the intermission.
A wild wrist shot by Nikolas Kalpouzos seven minutes into the third would shake up the game. The two-way defender would wire a shot off the post and in, beating Muise to tie the game up at three late.
For the fifth time in eight games, the Rangers would need two overtimes to determine a winner. After numerous chances at both ends, Ryan Wells scored on the 2-on-1 off of a Dante Spagnuolo feed to give the Patriots the 3-2 victory in a tough two-way battle.
The Rangers will play their second Wednesday night home game of the season this week, inviting back the Buffalo Jr. Sabres for a 7:45 PM contest at the Herb. Hope to see you there!
Photo by Andy Corneau / OJHL Images