(Buffalo, NY) – The North York Rangers took Game One of the Ontario Junior Hockey League second round playoff series, downing the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, 5-1, at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo.
Rangers defenseman Charles Lapierre opened the scoring about five minutes into the first period, assisted by Corey Kalk and John Carpino. Carpino increased the visitors’ lead to 2-0 just under three minutes into the second period.
Buffalo finally got on the scoreboard with Tyler Gjurich’s sixth goal of the playoffs, scored on the power play at the 6:29 mark of the second. Assisting on the goal were Tim Kielich and Dylan Howatt.
That’s all the offense Buffalo would muster, as the Rangers stymied their top point producers with a non-stop aggressive forechecking that kept the Jr. Sabres from creating many good quality scoring opportunities. The Rangers built their lead to 5-1 by the end of the second period with Carpino’s second goal as well as tallies by Taylor Pryce and Corey Kalk.
Buffalo goaltender Parker Gahgen stopped 21 of 26 shots. Bobby Bloomfield took his place at the start of the third period and stopped all five shots he faced. North York’s netminder Jason Pucciarelli, who started all six games in the Rangers’ first round series win over Oakville, faced only 17 shots and stopped all but Gjurich’s goal.
Game Two takes place on Friday night at Centennial Arena in North York beginning at 7:00pm. The series returns to Buffalo on Saturday, March 16 when the teams play Game Three at the Buffalo State College Ice Arena beginning at 7:00pm.