By Steven Ellis
The North York Rangers have won the first game of the playoffs after defeating the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 4-3 in overtime to kick off the post-season on Wednesday.
The Rangers got off to an incredible start to kick off the first game of the OJHL post-season, with Nick Campoli potting one early in the opening period. Joey Maziarz was the one who would get the shot towards the net, with Campoli picking up the disk and beating Brian George for the opening goal just 14 seconds in.
The Sabres scored one with five minutes left in a scramble. Adam Tretowicz would pot one on the power-play after Trevor Peca touched the puck previous, with Tretowicz finding a small opening past Colby Muise to make it 1-1.
The Rangers scored once more with just over a minute to go in the first to make it 2-1. This time, Ross Krieger would spin around and send a nice wrist shot past the blocker of George, turning Noah Jordan’s feed into the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1.
Tretowicz would score the lone goal in the middle period to make it 2-2. His second of the night would come after he roofed a pass from Peca in front, beating Muise under the bar in a tying effort.
The Sabres would score early in the third period to give them their first lead. This time, Colton McKenna took Sutter Donegan’s pass and beat Muise down low, giving Buffalo the advantage for the first time in the contest.
But it wouldn’t last for long. Grayden Gottschalk fed Noah Jordan in front of the net, with Jordan scoring his seventh goal against Buffalo this year, but none were bigger than the one at 45:28 that saw North York tie the game once again.
The first game of the playoffs required overtime, and just three minutes in, the Rangers won it. Josh Dame, the former OHL sniper, would give the Rangers the victory after taking a beautiful shot, beating George glove side to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead in the series and the 4-3 overtime victory on Wednesday.
The Rangers will head to Buffalo for game two on Friday evening before returning home for game three on Sunday afternoon, a 3:00 PM start at the Herb. We hope to see you there!
Photo from Steven Ellis/North York Rangers