Nick Zanette led the way with two goals and Gianluca Baggetta notched his second shutout of the campaign as the North York Rangers cruised past the Milton Icehawks 4-0 on Sunday.
Louis Kereakou also added two assists as the Rangers have now won three of their last four, and remain unbeaten at the Herb Carnegie Centennial Arena this season (3-0-1).
Afterward, North York head coach Brent Hughes was happy with how his club responded to what he considered a subpar first period.
“To be honest I thought we didn’t stick to our game plan in the first period at all,” he said, “but we regrouped in the second (and outshot Milton 22-4).
“When you have guys like Michael Morgan and Jeremy Szabo leading the way, and taking that responsibility of wearing the letter, I thought our leaders stepped up tonight and did their jobs.”
Zanette opened the scoring 6:12 into the first period when he pounced on a poorly played clearance by the Icehawks’ goaltender Marcus Semiao close to the corner of the right point, and proceeded to slot the puck into the empty cage.
He grabbed his second with 30 seconds remaining in the opening frame by blasting a slap shot off the post and in behind Semiao on a two-on-one.
Grayden Gottschalk made it three with a nifty tip from a Szabo wrist shot on the power play at the 4:56 mark of the middle period, and then Morgan sealed the rout just over four minutes later when he neatly beat Semiao on a breakaway.
The beleaguered Icehawks allowed North York 51 shots on the contest, and it was the Rangers’ team speed that gave Milton the biggest issues.
“We just want to make quick plays,” said Hughes.
“We don’t want to let the other team get into their comfort zone, or get into their systems. We want to play fast; the more we are going north the better. As hard as we fore-check, we want to back check just as fast. We want to use our speed to our advantage, because we obviously have lots of it.”
North York will travel to Oakville Friday night to take on the Blades before returning home to battle the Buffalo Jr. Sabres at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Notes: The Rangers have added forward Josh Dame to the roster as he has returned from the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara Ice Dogs … North York has also sent the Junior ‘A’ rights of defenceman Will Reilly to the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Colombia Hockey League in exchange for defenceman Louis-Philippe Page