Grayden Gottschalk contributed two goals and Jeremie Lintner made 21 stops as the North York Rangers closed out their Governor’s Showcase schedule with an emphatic 5-1 victory over the Whitby Fury on Wednesday.
Gottschalk and Michael Morgan both had three-point nights for the Rangers.
Afterward, North York head coach Brent Hughes was happy with the way his club bounced back Wednesday after falling 3-1 to the Wellington Dukes the afternoon before.
“I like the way we responded as a group today,” said Hughes.
“That was a full team effort, we stuck to the plan for 60 minutes. It was nice to see some pucks go our way, so I am happy about that. It is a big two points, so now we get back to work and get ready for Sunday.”
Gottschalk opened the scoring 3:35 into the contest, chipping in a rebound from a Jake Harris point shot past Whitby goaltender Austin Cain on the power play.
Ryan Heeps responded for the Fury less than five minutes later with a flukey bounce off North York defender Luke Hincenbergs’ stick, but then Gottschalk put the Rangers up for good 9:47 into the second.
The rookie forward stripped a Whitby defender, went in alone on Cain, and beat the second-year goaltender on the short side in tight.
Louis Kereakou padded the lead at 11:41 of the middle frame by receiving a nice feed from Will Calverley, and then slipping the puck between Cain’s legs on the backhand.
Morgan and Nick Campoli added power play goals at the 12:56 and 18:26-marks of the second period, respectively, to seal the victory, as the Fury lost a measure of discipline in the last 10 minutes of the frame.
The Rangers finished the game 3-for-8 with the man advantage.
Gottschalk earned his first two-goal game in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, and afterward, Coach Hughes was full of praise for the rookie, as well as for first-year defender Walker Hincenbergs.
“From the early days till now, every day [Gottschalk] has been getting better,” said Hughes.
“He knows who he is as a hockey player, and that is half the battle right there. He is a big presence in front of the net, he enjoys playing in front of the net, and when you do that you are going to get those greasy goals. Another guy that stood out to me today was Walker Hincenbergs. His commitment to defence and blocking shots, I thought he was another big warrior for us.”
Lintner also got his first career OJHL victory after joining the Rangers from Junior ‘B’ Guelph in the off-season.
The Rangers will now get a few days off before taking on the Milton Icehawks at the Herb Carnegie Centennial Arena on Sunday afternoon. Puck will drop at Bathurst and Finch at 3 p.m.