Rookie Justin Bailey scored once and added an assist, but the Kitchener Rangers fell 5-3 to the Guelph Storm on Monday afternoon. Ryan Murphy and Domenic Alberga also scored for Kitchener in the loss.
The Storm jumped to a 1-0 lead early in the first period, capitalizing on a power play opportunity. Scott Kosmachuk’s shot was stopped by Joel Vienneau, but sophomore centre Hunter Garlent was in front of the net to pot the rebound. His 11th goal of the season was also assisted by Andrey Pedan.
Ryan Murphy pulled the Rangers even 33 seconds later, collecting the puck beside the Guelph net and sliding it behind right skate of netminder Garret Sparks. His eighth of the season was set up by Josh Sterk and Justin Bailey.
Just before the midway point of the frame, Guelph regained its one-goal advantage. Pedan’s long shot from the blueline was redirected under Vienneau by Brock McGinn for his 21st of the year. Zack Mitchell also earned a helper on the play.
Less than two minutes later, Domenic Alberga’s fifth of the season leveled the score at 2-2. The overage forward deflected Derek Schoenmakers’ shot off the goal post behind the right shoulder of Sparks. Ben Thomson also assisted on the tally at the 11:13 mark.
The Storm out-shot the Rangers 16-12 through the opening 20 minutes.
Guelph re-established their lead five minutes into the middle frame. Garlent’s shot on goal bounced wide but was recovered by Mitchell beside the Rangers net. He spun and fired a sharp angle shot behind Vienneau for his 20th of the season. Daniel Poliziani also assisted on the play.
Pedan pushed the Storm to a 4-2 lead at the halfway point, beating Vienneau with a long point shot for his 12th of 2012-13. The power play marker was assisted Tyler Bertuzzi and Garlent, his second point of the afternoon.
Bailey cut the Rangers’ deficit to a single goal 1:42 later, carrying the puck down the wing the length of the ice, then cutting in front of the net and beating Sparks blocker side. The unassisted goal was the draft eligible winger’s17th of the season.
Guelph continued to lead shots on goal in the second period by a 15-7 margin.
Kosmachuck added an empty net goal with less than a minute to play, securing a 5-3 Guelph victory. Ryan Horvat and Cody McNaughton assisted on the veteran winger’s 30th of the season.
The Rangers out-shot the Storm 13-4 in the third period, but Guelph finished with a 35-31 overall advantage.
1. GUE H. Garlent, (11) (S. Kosmachuk, A. Pedan), 4:53 (PP)
1. KIT R. Murphy, (8) (J. Sterk, J. Bailey), 5:26
1. GUE B. McGinn, (21) (Z. Mitchell, A. Pedan), 9:20
1. KIT D. Alberga, (5) (B. Thomson, D. Schoenmakers), 11:13
2. GUE Z. Mitchell, (20) (D. Poliziani, H. Garlent), 5:14
2. GUE A. Pedan, (12) (T. Bertuzzi, Z. Mitchell), 10:11 (PP)
2. KIT J. Bailey, (17) (unassisted), 11:53
3. GUE S. Kosmachuk, (30) (R. Horvat, C. McNaughton), 19:36 (EN)
1. GUE – 3 Andrey Pedan
2. KIT – 95 Justin Bailey
3. GUE – 19 Hunter Garlent
The Rangers return to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Friday, February 22 when they host the Saginaw Spirit for the annual Game Used Lavender Stick Auction at 7:30pm. Tickets to Rangers home games are available by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, via the internet at www.centre-square.com or in person at the Centre In the Square Box Office or the Kitchener Auditorium Box Office.