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Blades Beat North York 3-1 To Snag Fourth Straight Win


The North York Rangers traveled to Sixteen Mile Sports Complex to take on the red hot South Division rivals, the Oakville Blades. The home team in blue has had a fantastic couple of games, winning the past three contests in a row against Kingston, Orangeville and Toronto Lakeshore. North York, on the other end, lost to the Cobourg Cougars 3-2 Monday night but did manage to grab the 5-0 victory over Kingston the night before. The Blades have done a good job keeping the shots close after starting the season getting out-shot in every contest, and like usual they made the most of their chances, taking 3-1 victory in a hard fought battle.

As is the case in many Oakville games, the fans at SMSC were treated to a goal early. Unfortunately, the home team wasn't the one to get the early advantage as North York's Liam Kerins got the puck under the glove of Evan Buitenhuis and into the net on a nice wrist shot. The Rangers were quick to get another great scoring opportunity a minute later when AP Braden Sampson, who was making his first start in the OJHL for the Blades, accidentally threw it up the middle to an open North York defenseman, but Buitenhuis stood strong and cut off the angle perfectly.

Oakville managed to keep with the pace of the Rangers in the next following minutes and it paid off as they were able to tie the game up at one before the period came to a close. With the Blades laying on the pressure, Dalton Bew's slap shot was stopped by NY goalie Jason Pucciarelli, however a juicy rebounded was gobbled up by Kris Bennett who made no mistake scoring his first of the season and 15th marker during his two year stint with the Blades. Following the play, North York forward Corey Kalk showed his displeasure of the goal by flipping the puck over the glass, which the OJHL officials decided would result in a game misconduct after limited ice time during the first. Oakville made Kalk and the rest of his Rangers teammates pay with only ten seconds remaining in the period when Bew got his second point of the night on an absolute laser beam, giving Oakville the 2-1 lead heading to the change room.

Bennett had a fantastic game for the Blades after spending the start of the season with the OJHL's Saginaw Spirit. He had the best scoring chance of the second period at the halfway mark when he took a slap shot off of his own rebound in front, however Pucciarelli stood tall and made easily the best save of the contest with his glove. Pucciarelli, who played for Team Canada East during the 2011-2012 World Junior A Challenge, is having a tough start to the season, but he looked good against Oakville despite some poor defensive coverage on the goals he allowed during the first two periods.

At the other end of the ice, Buitenhuis looked solid like usual. In the opening minute of the third period, “Boots” made a fantastic sprawling pad save on the North York power-play to hold on to the lead for the time being.

Ross Sloan, who's been impressive all season as Oakville's top scorer after getting acquired during the summer from the Mississauga Chargers, would face his first big blunder during the eighth minute of the third period. After a spirited battle by the boards, Sloan would get a game misconduct after hitting an opposing player from behind. Luckily for Sloan, his team was able to kill off the penalty and create a fantastic scoring chance at the other end, and Kamil Tkaczuk showed off his scoring ability that he was signed for during the off-season. With the lead now 3-1 in the home stretch of the game, there was no turning back for the Blades who completed the game with their fourth straight win in the month of November.