The North York Rangers have tied their franchise record for most wins in a season, grabbing their 34th victory of the season with a 9-2 win over the Milton Icehawks.
The Rangers couldn’t have asked for a better first period. 43 seconds into the game, Kyle Clarke took advantage of a nice backdoor pass from Nick Campoli and got the game started on the right foot on their first scoring chance of the game.
At 8:40, Nick Leshuk came up big after a tic-tac-toe play. Clarke made a tremendous pass to Harrison Rees, who got robbed by Noah Battaglia’s right pad. Leshuk was there to tap in the rebound, giving the Rangers the 2-0 lead.
At 13:47, Tyler Flack, playing in just his second home game since November, scored just his second career OJHL goal and first at home on an individual effort, making the Icehawks look silly in their own zone. Ross Krieger would get his 12th at home on the season with just 1.9 seconds to go in the battle, capping off an impressive period for the home team in white.
The second period was a barnstormer, with the Rangers scoring another four goals. But the Icehawks did manage to score one first, with Jeremy Marco beating Jett Alexander at 23:23 to score their opening goal of the battle.
But that made the Rangers angry. Noah Jordan and Leshuk scored 13 seconds apart at 4:21 and 4:34 in the second, with Leshuk, the former Icehawk, getting payback against his previous team with his second goal of the night.
At 14:46, Fletcher got one of his own. It was a pretty spin shot that resulted in the Rangers extending their lead to 7-1. Then, two minutes later, Nick Campoli grabbed his third point of the night when he got a goal of his own, beating Battaglia after taking the pass from Ryan Radisa to make it 8-1.
The Icehawks made a goalie switch, putting in Kevin Tardiff in for the final 20 minutes after Battaglia made 29 saves on 37 shots. Matteo DiGiulio would give the Icehawks their second goal of the game at 1:49 of the third, but Harrison Rees made it 9-2 with his second goal of the season, while Rudakov would grab his second assist and Clarke would pick up his fifth point of the night on the Rangers final goal of the game.
With the win, the Rangers have tied the 1976-1977 Rangers for the franchise record in wins, 34. The Rangers will seek #35 to take the record against the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, a 3:00 PM start at the Herb. Hope to see you there!
Photo from Steven Ellis/North York Rangers