The North York Rangers are getting better with every game that goes by, it was prevalent this past week. North York earned three of a possible four points against division rivals.
North York vs Toronto Junior Canadiens
In a rare Wednesday night home contest, the Rangers started off a bit flat against the Junior Canadiens. They were pinned inside their zone right from the get go, which led to a pair goals in the first two and half minutes for Toronto. The visitors took that lead into the first intermission.
The Rangers went back to work in the second. On their first power play, Cole Tucker found the back of the net only 2:42 into the second. North York kept the pressure on JRC and less than 40 seconds later, Tyler Flack was tripped on a breakaway to earn a penalty shot. Unfortunately, the captain made the right move, but couldn’t get the shot over Christian Mattiace’s pad. The Rangers were down by one with one period remaining.
Late in the third, North York was able to even up the score. Defenceman Connor Rudderham joined in the rush and made no mistake when Cole O’Hara found him in the slot at 15:59. For the second straight meeting the two teams needed extra time to decide a winner.
Nothing was solved in the first overtime, but in the second one Toronto’s Stephen Calisti scored the winner less than a minute in.
Rookie goalie James Gray stopped 32 shots in a losing effort.
North York vs Mississauga
The Rangers had three days off heading into the matchup with another divisional rival Mississauga Charges on Sunday.
In the opening period, North York outshot Mississauga 16-7, but it were the visitors that struck first. In the minute, Devlin Shanahan forced the turn over behind the Rangers net, then tic-tac-toe Daniil Kuzmin has a goal. First marker against his former team.
No one was able to find the back of the net, until late in the third. On the Rangers’ eighth power play, Austin Brimmer rifled a slap shot between the legs of Chargers’ goalie Frank Boal at 16:23 to even the score. For the second straight game, North York went to overtime.
Rangers goalie Eli Shiller and Boal made some key saves to keep tied at 1-1 after the first overtime. Less than two minutes in, Brimmer took the puck down low in the offensive zone, wheeled all away round, got an inside step on the defender and went bar down for the winner.
Shiller made 33 saves for the Rangers to pick up his second straight victory.
North York inches four points behind Mississauga for the final playoff spot.