With the regular season over early for the Rangers, all they could do was wait and watch other results to see whom they would be facing in the opening round of the playoffs.
The answer came on the last day as Oakville skated to an easy win over Orangeville, clinching the fifth seed for the Blades. With North York in the fourth spot as a result of Oakville’s Friday night defeat at the hands of the Mississauga Chargers, the Rangers will have home-ice advantage in the their first-round matchup versus the Blades.
Here is a breakdown of the series.
Regular season head-to-head stats:
09/19/12 Oakville 4 at North York 3
09/21/12 North York 4 at Oakville 8
11/30/12 North York 2 at Oakville 4
01/09/13 Oakville 3 at North York 6
02/01/13 North York 4 at Oakville 5
Leading scorers –
North York: Liam Kerins (5G, 2A), Corey Kalk (3G, 4A), Chris Aitcheson (3G, 4A)
Oakville: Jonah Renouf (3G, 8A), Patrick Chore (4G, 4A), Nathan Renouf (4G, 3A)
Rangers’ keys to victory:
- Discipline, discipline, discipline. The Oakville Blades boast the league’s second best power play and the Renouf twins are not the only reason why. Stefan Leblanc and Kris Jenkins are fantastic puck-rushing defencemen and they do a good job of using their speed to back off the opposition and allow the Blades to set up in the offensive zone. If the Rangers give them seven power plays each game, victory will be much, much more difficult.
- Finish checks hard on the forecheck and generate offence below the goal line. North York has the ability to dominate in this area if every line rolls and buys in to body slamming Oakville’s defencemen on a regular basis.
- Goaltending. Whether it’s Jason Pucciarelli or Jacob Keogh, the Ranger goaltenders certainly have what it takes to take over a game. The Oakville offence can produce off the rush and its head coach Mike Gomes has had his team throwing pucks on goal from everywhere for months – so the North York netminders will be need to be as steady as ever.
Game#1 – Oakville vs North York – Wed, Feb 27th – 7:30 PM @ Herb Carnegie Centennial
Game#2 – North York vs Oakville – Fri, Mar 1st – 7:30 PM @ Oakville Arena
Game#3 – Oakville vs North York – Sun, Mar 3rd – 3:00 PM @ Herb Carnegie Centennial
Game#4 – North York vs Oakville – Tue, Mar 5th – 7:30 PM @ Oakville Arena
Game#5 – Oakville vs North York – Wed, Mar 6th – 7:30 PM @ Herb Carnegie Centennial
Game#6 – North York vs Oakville – Fri, Mar 8th – 7:30 PM @ Oakville Arena
Game#7 – Oakville vs North York – Sun, Mar 10th – 3:00 PM @ Herb Carnegie Centennial