By Steven Ellis
The North York Rangers have a chance to sweep their first-round playoff series on Monday with a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Jr. Sabres on Sunday afternoon at the Herb.
The Rangers hadn’t found a way to score with the man advantage in the opening two games, but they were much luckier to kick off game three. With just over two minutes to go in the first stanza, Kyle Clarke would score a beautiful, Bobby Orr-esque goal after taking the puck in front of Brian George and scooping it over the Buffalo goaltender, getting the puck over the line just as he was falling to make it 1-0 for the Rangers early on.
The Sabres would get one early in the second to knot the battle at one apiece. Nathan Berke would get one for the Sabres after a scramble in front meant some tough battles for the defencemen, with Berke beating Jett Alexander on the doorstep to make it 1-1.
North York would escape the second period with the 2-1 advantage, though. Joey Maziarz would give the Rangers the lead after his shot from the point somehow flipped past George, finding a tough angle to put the Rangers up by a goal for the second time.
An unassisted effort at 6:18 in the third would put the Sabres down too much to form a comeback. Noah Robinson, one of North York’s best players during the playoffs a year ago, would send a shot past George early in the final frame, giving the Rangers the 3-1 lead. Nick Campoli would score one with under three minutes remaining in the game, giving the Rangers the 4-1 victory and the 3-0 advantage in the playoffs.
The Rangers will look to finish off the opening round of the OJHL playoffs when they travel to the HarborCenter on Monday evening for a 7:00PM contest in Buffalo. If game five is needed, the Rangers will meet up with
Photo from Steven Ellis/North York Rangers