By Jamie Neugebauer
Michael Giacometti scored his first of the year on a nice individual effort and Zachary Fung notched two points, but I wasn’t enough as the Mississauga Chargers rallied to edge the North York Rangers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Chargers’ goaltender Austin Washkaruk was a massive difference in the game, making 40 saves – many of them difficult – as the Rangers were unable to put the game away, despite owning large periods of the game.
For his part, North York assistant captain Patrick Piacentini feels the source of the loss was simple.
“It’s about execution,” he said, “as well as playing for a full 60 minutes. We have to bear down all game and make our plays especially in critical situations, such as one goal games, and we did not do that today.”
Adam Valadao opened the scoring for the Rangers at 3:41, demonstrating his quick hands in tight to Washkaruk’s left on the power play.
Mississauga scored two quick ones and then Giacometti tied it up with a dynamic rush down the right wing at 9:31 of the first period.
Fung looked like he had the winner with about seven minutes remaining in regulation when he jammed home a rebound from a Gabriel Valenzuela shot, but North York could not hold the lead as two quick Chargers goals helped them come away with the win.
“Well the boys stuck with the game plan and continued to push for the equalizer when we needed to,” Piacentini said regarding the positives he took from the game.
“The guys didn’t get down when we gave up the lead or let it affect our play.”
With the loss North York falls to 1-0-1-3 on the season, a record similar to last year’s start where the team was 1-0-0-3 after four games. Of course, the Rangers went on to reach the Southwest Conference final after that.
Not surprisingly, however, Piacentini takes little comfort in that fact.
“Every year is a new year and we can’t look to the past to calm us down,” he said.
“We wanted a strong start and haven’t gotten it, but now it’s time for us, as a team, to step up and get back to where we want to be.”
The Rangers will take on the Orangeville Flyers at noon on Sunday at the Governor’s Showcase event in Oakville before traveling north to Newmarket for a matchup with the Hurricanes on Thursday, Oct. 3.