GRIMSBY (Jan. 6) — All good things must come to an end … sort of. Yes, the Glanbrook Rangers’ 16-game winning streak — a span of success that stretched all the way back to Oct. 13, 2022 — finally came to a halt as the Rangers dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Grimsby Peach Kings.
But, there was still a silver lining to be found.
“There was a little bit of a disappointment due to the fact that we lost our streak,” said Rangers’ forward Ryan Burke, whose goal at 17:01 of the third period sent the game into overtime. “But the way we look at it is that it’s just another stepping stone on our path. It was going to happen sooner or later and I think we’d all prefer that it happen now rather than down the road.”
Salvaging a point meant that the Rangers lost ground only by the slimmest margin in their pursuit of first place in the Bloomfield Division. The Rangers still maintained a seven-point bulge on the Peach Kings, who have put together their own impressive string of 10 consecutive victories. So, with 16 games remaining in the regular season, the two perennial rivals have isolated themselves from the rest of the field and set up a two-horse race to the finish. No surprise there, as over the past six seasons, the Bloomfield crown has been worn by one team or the other.
And as the second phase of the campaign opened, the Peach Kings showed their intention to make another run, as they outshot the Rangers 30-21 over the first two frames and held a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Liam Shwedyk at 16:32 of the second period.
“We weren’t really on our game for the first two periods,” said Burke. “They just brought the game to us and we kind of sat there and let them so that. They came out flying, and we simply came out flat-footed.”
But the Rangers managed to turn the tables somewhat as the encounter progressed, leading to Burke’s equalizer in the late stages of the third stanza, which got the Rangers into overtime for only the second time this season (the first was a 2-1 win over Dunnville back in September). But in spite of that shot of andrenaline, and the fact that they also managed to outshoot the Peach Kings 4-2 in the extra session, the hosts managed snuff out Glanbrook’s hopes of a streak-extending win as Luca McLaren scored at 1:55.
“We just slipped up off the faceoff and let a guy get in behind us,” said Burke. “And after that it was just him and the goalie and they got the better side of the outcome. We simply didn’t come to play and we let them bring it to us for most of the game, and teams like Grimsby won’t let you get away with wins when you don’t put in 100 per cent effort.”
NOTES: Tiago Rocha made 38 saves for the Rangers … Glanbrook captain Sean Golebiowski drew an assist on Burke’s goal to keep his remarkable 22-game point scoring streak intact. He now has 50 points for the season (25 goals, 25 assists) and is fourth overall in the PJHL scoring race. … After four games, the Rangers still hold an edge on the Peach Kings with a 2-1-0-1 head-to-head record, with three games remaining in the season series. … The Rangers have added forward Jackson Gruber to their roster. The 17-year-old Burlington native had two goals and four assists in 22 games this season with the Hamilton Kilty Bs of the GOJHL.