By Steven Ellis
The North York Rangers have taken a 2-1 series lead after defeating the Georgetown Raiders 5-4 in an overtime slugfest on Sunday afternoon at the Herb.
The Rangers surrendered the first goal of the game, something they didn’t do often this year. 21 seconds into the period, Derek McVey scored his third goal in three games when he beat Jett Alexander with a surprise shot that appeared to be tipped before crossing the goal line, giving the Raiders the early lead.
But Alexander was on top of his game, making his first start of the series. Alexander would make an incredible stretch glove save on a two-on-one opportunity, snagging the disk before it could cross the line.
The save gave the team energy, and the Rangers used that momentum to finish the first period in the lead. First, Dante Fantauzzi’s shot would get tipped in front of Troy Timpano, with Tyler Flack deflecting the puck over top of the former Erie Otters goaltender to make it 1-1 at 4:21.
Just under ten minutes later, a shorthanded goal put the Rangers up ahead. This time, Jesse Tucker, who committed to the NCAA’s Lake Superior State University this past week, would blow a shot past Timpano on an odd-man rush, giving the Rangers the 2-1 lead before the opening period came to a close.
The Raiders would get one from Bailey Molella in the second, but a pair of goals by the Rangers meant they’d stay in the lead after 40 minutes. First, at 4:14, Noah Robinson got tied up in front of the net, but it wouldn’t stop him from finding a way to beat the Georgetown netminder to make it 4:14.
Then, over a minute later, Flack would get his second goal of the night after going high on Timpano, ending the goaltender’s night in favour of Nathan Torchia.
Georgetown came out flying in the third, and it paid off. Zac Elson would score early in close to put the Raiders within one, only to have Molella score his second of the night to force overtime to decide the victor.
It didn’t take long for the game-winning goal to be scored. At 6:54 in the extra frame, Vegas Golden Knights prospect Nick Campoli unleashed a wicked wrist shot that went bar down on Torchia, giving the Rangers the thrilling overtime victory to take the lead in the series.
There won’t be much time to rest as the teams will meet again at 7:00 PM on Tuesday evening at the Herb, a game that you won’t want to miss!
Photo from Steven Ellis/North York Rangers