By Jamie Neugebauer
John Carpino flipped home a rebound off of the end-boards for the winner at 5:21 of the third period and the North York Rangers overcame injuries and misconducts to scrape out a 4-3 victory over the Georgetown Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
The win was especially key as the teams sat five and six in the conference before puck drop, with only two points separating them.
After the game, North York bench boss John Dean was thrilled, especially considering the Rangers were injury-ridden and had to play with four defencemen for the last 25 minutes of the game.
“I am so proud of the boys for this entire weekend,” he said; as the Rangers had also battled out an overtime win Friday night at St. Mike’s.
“I thought everyone stepped up to a man, young guys and vets, and considering all the injuries we are battling – which we continue to emphasize is no excuse – I am so proud of the guys for stepping up.”
Liam Kerins capitalized on a poor Georgetown shift change when he received a breakaway pass from Kyle Thacker and neatly fired past Raiders net minder Michael Singh 15:32 into the game.
Kerins would end the night with three points overall and has had multi-point games in each of the team’s last four (nine points in that span).
Zachary Fung then took advantage of a poor turnover to give North York the lead with 34 seconds left in the first period.
After two Georgetown goals gave the Raiders back the lead, Corey Kalk banged in a rebound from a Kerins shot on the power play at 14:20 to tie the contest up at three.
Tye Campbell then further got the team’s energy up when he took on Raiders’ enforcer Kyle Allan in one of the best fights the Rangers have seen in a long time.
North York forced Georgetown to go 0-for-3 with the man advantage, making it the third-straight game that the Rangers have not given up a power-play goal against. They now sit No. 1 in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with a penalty-killing rate of 87.1 per cent.
“I thought our penalty kill tonight was the best it’s been all year,” Dean said.
“Our guys compete level and push down, I couldn’t be happier. Special teams have been great for us overall I think and we really hope it just keeps on going.”
The Rangers are next in action on Friday night when they head to Trenton to take on the Golden Hawks, puck drops at 7:30.