By Jamie Neugebauer
Matthew Whittaker potted his first career OJHL hat trick and finished the evening with four points as the North York Rangers skated away with a huge 8-1 victory vs. the Oakville Blades Friday night.
Seven North York players in all had multi-point outings, including first career three-point contests as Rangers for Christian Zanetti and Brandon Gaudette.
Adam Valadao also added three helpers on the evening.
Other than Whittaker, five separate North York skaters had goals including Ted Hunt, Zach Fung, Alex Leader, Corey Kalk and Liam Kerins.
Jason Pucciarelli was solid making 23 saves for his 15th victory of the season.
Whittaker’s big night extended his point-scoring streak to seven games and he has hit the score sheet in nine of the last 11 contests.
North York outshot the hosts 42-24 and outscored them 7-0 over the last two periods.
The Rangers now have one more game remaining in the regular season and sit three points ahead of Milton and St. Mike’s for third place in the Southwest Conference.
Both of those clubs have a game in hand on North York.
The boys in blue finish off the regular season on Sunday afternoon at the Herb Carnegie Centennial Arena for a crucial showdown with the Toronto Patriots, puck drops at 3 p.m.