(Article by Jamie Neugebauer, image courtesy of OJHL Images)
Christian Zanetti and Luke Kutkevicius both notched the first goals of their respective Ontario Junior Hockey League careers Wednesday as the North York Rangers pounded the Mississauga Chargers 6-2.
Five Rangers in all contributed multi-point outings, while North York has now won four of their last five contests.
Afterward, Rangers’ head coach Mark Joslin was thrilled for the two guys that broke their respective OJHL goal seals.
“I am extremely happy for both guys,” Joslin said.
“Last year Zanetti was a trooper as a 7th D in and out of the lineup, and was a great teammate. He’s still been a great team guy this year; he’s been working hard, blocking shots, and he’s had a lot of opportunities to score. Luke was pretty frustrated early on and was starting to play well before getting hurt, so it’s nice for him to get the monkey off his back.”
Will Reilly opened the scoring 1:14 into the contest on the power play when his one-timer from the point handcuffed Mississauga goaltender Alex Lepore.
Domenic Commisso’s shot deflected past Rangers’ net minder Gianluca Baggetta at 12:08 of the opening frame to tie the game, but Kutkevicius was left alone in front and made no mistake from in tight under five minutes later to give the hosts back the lead.
Thomas Lattavo evened the score again 8:42 into the second period, but Zach Fung put the Rangers back ahead for good 24 seconds later, converting a clear cut breakaway after a turnover.
Zanetti got his first goal in his 85th career OJHL game when his point blast bounced in off a Chargers skate at 15:52 of the second, and then Kutkevicius got another by capitalizing on a rebound from a Zanetti slapper at 18:32.
Matthew Whittaker jammed in a rebound on the power play at the 13:40-mark of the final frame to complete the scoring.
“It seems like every game we’re fighting right to the bitter end and I’m losing my voice and getting more gray hairs,” said Joslin.
“But it was nice to get a convincing victory tonight where we knew going into the third that if we kept it simple we’d be fine.”
The Rangers sit two points out of first place in the South Division after 30 games.
They are next in action Saturday night when they travel to Buckingham Arena to take on the Toronto Jr. Canadiens; puck drops at 8 p.m.