Derek Schoenmaker scored twice to lead the Kitchener Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Guelph Storm on Wednesday night. Radek Faksa also scored for the Rangers and John Gibson made 37 saves in his first win since returning from injury.
The Rangers jumped ahead 1-0 just 67 second into the first period. Draft-eligible forward Brent Pedersen battled for the puck on the wing and threw a shot on net that was deflected past the netminder by Derek Schoenmakers. The overage winger’s 15th of the season and sixth with the Rangers was assisted by Ryan Murphy.
Guelph led shots on goal 13-10 through the opening 20 minutes.
The Storm tied things up in the second period, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. Andrey Pedan’s long shot soared over Rangers starter John Gibson, giving the defenceman his 14th of the season. Tanner Richard and goaltender Garret Sparks earned the assists on the play.
Guelph continued to lead on the shot clock in the middle frame, with a 15-14 advantage.
Kitchener jumped back in front early in the third period, taking a 2-1 lead 1:41 into the frame. Matt Puempel’s shot bounced off a skate in traffic, right to Radek Faksa in the high slot. The Dallas Stars prospect snapped a shot past Sparks for his ninth of the season. Rearguard Frank Corrado also earned a helper Faksa’s third point in two games.
Scott Kosmachuk’s team-leading 33rd goal of the season pulled Guelph even in the early half of the third. Zack Mitchell controlled the puck off the draw and quickly moved the puck to Brock Beukeboom. His shot was redirected onto the stick of Kosmachuk, who quickly punched it past Gibson.
Schoenmakers’ second of the game put the Rangers ahead with less than 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Tobias Rieder initiated the play, holding the puck in the Storm zone and moving it to Corrado inside the blueline. His shot bounced off the Kitchener native and past the blocker of Sparks, lifting the Rangers to a 3-2 lead.
The Storm out-shot the Rangers 11-8 in the third and 39-32 overall, but Gibson made 37 saves to secure the victory for Kitchener.
With the win, the Rangers improve to 38-19-1-8 and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Guelph.
1. KIT D. Schoenmakers, (15) (B. Pedersen, R. Murphy), 1:07
2. GUE A. Pedan, (14) (T. Richard, G. Sparks), 11:39 (PP)
3. KIT R. Faksa, (9) (M. Puempel, F. Corrado), 1:41
3. GUE S. Kosmachuk, (33) (B. Beukeboom, Z. Mitchell), 6:37
3. KIT D. Schoenmakers, (16) (F. Corrado, T. Rieder), 10:42
1. KIT – 71 Derek Schoenmakers
2. GUE – 3 Andrey Pedan
3. KIT – 35 John Gibson
The Rangers road trip continues on Friday, March 15 in Saginaw, when they take on the Spirit at 7:11pm.
Playoff tickets for Round One, games A and B (home games #1 and #2) are on sale now!
Opponent, dates and times are to be determined and will be announced when confirmed.
Playoff tickets may be purchased by phone at 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, via the internet or in person at The Aud Box Office or Centre in the Square.
Adult (13+): $22.00/Round 1 Child (3-12): $18.00/Round 1
Please note: No refunds or exchanges on playoff purchases.