By Steven Ellis
Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:15 pm ·  0 Comments
A double overtime heartbreaker by the North York Rangers prevented Oakville from completing the series and will force a game five on Friday evening.
Desperate to take an early lead to try and keep their hopes alive, the North York Rangers scored first to take a 1-0 lead. With Drew Worrad in the box, Nick Campoli got his first goal of the playoffs with a power play goal thanks to a tough shot against Brendan McGlynn, drawing first blood.
At 8:10 in the second period, the Rangers doubled up their lead, the biggest of the playoffs. After McGlynn made a couple of nice stops, Ross Krieger was in a good position to pick up a rebound and jam it home at the doorstep, giving the Rangers the 2-0 lead before the halfway point of the game.
With 10:33 left in the second, Matthew Galli scored a very similar goal to make it 3-0. It was a tough few minutes for Oakville, who have controlled the ice for the majority of this playoff series.
The Blades were fired up, knowing that they couldn’t let North York take the game. At 12:08 in the second, Bailey Newton sent a pass to Tyler Hildebrandt in the neutral zone. Hildebrandt, known for punishing goaltenders with his wicked wrist shot, picked a perfect snipe down low on Jeremie Lintner to make it 3-1, putting the Blades back in the contest.
The Blades, unfortunately, were caught in a tough situation. With multiple players in the box after a skirmish in front of North York’s net saw Lintner leave the game, the Rangers were on the power play. Despite Oakville’s best efforts, Dante Fantauzzi scored with two minutes left in the second off of a Campoli rebound to make it 4-1.
Was Oakville done? Not yet. At 3:28, Peyton Reeves got the puck to Jackson Bales, who struck the shot past Jett Alexander to make it 4-2, cutting the lead in half.
With 11:37 left in the third period, the Blades were back in it. Chance after chance was stopped by Alexander, but not until Ryan Foss got his hand in the play. Foss, easily one of Oakville’s best players throughout the playoffs for the second straight year, kept with the play and jammed in the loose puck, beating the Rangers goalie, making it 4-3.
Oakville was the better of the two teams during the third period of the series, and for the first time they found themselves trailing. But at 11:13 in the third, that all changed. In a similar fashion of how Foss scored, Drew Worrad had tremendous drive to force the puck from leaving the hashmarks, with the superstar forward jamming the puck in to tie the game up at four apiece late in the game.
With no winner after 60 minutes, the game required not one, but two overtimes to determine the winner. The Blades had many chances throughout the overtimes, but unfortunately Nick Zanette managed to overcome a hard hit in the first overtime to score on a deflection and to keep the series alive.
Game five will return to Sixteen Mile Sports Complex for a 7:30 PM start. Hope to see you there!