Final: Rangers 7, Storm 4

Guelph, ON: The Rangers (40-16-5-2) gave up four in the second period to go down a goal but persevered and ended up beating the Storm (32-23-3-5) 7-4.

Greg Meireles led the way with three goals and three assists. Reid Valade and Axel Bergkvist also contributed three assists each in the win.

Jacob Ingham saved 27 and picked up his 33rd win of the year.

Pavel Gogolev took a hooking penalty at 11:16 of the first period. On the ensuing powerplay, Greg Meireles found Axel Bergkvist who passed into the faceoff circle to Liam Hawel (23) who wristed a hard shot short-side past Owen Bennett to make it 1-0.

Shots at the end of the first period were 11-6 for the Storm.

The Rangers extended their lead just 37-seconds into the second frame when Jonathan Yantsis passed cross-ice to Mike Petizian who dished it into the crease where Serron Noel (18) tipped it in to extend the lead to 2-0.

Guelph got one back at 3:54 when Cam Hillis came in hard on the net of Jacob Ingham, took a shot, had it blocked, and then recovered his own rebound and scored on the second chance opportunity to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

It didn’t take long for the Rangers to restore their two-goal advantage. At 5:10, the Rangers came streaking into their offensive zone thanks to a forward pass by Meireles to Reid Valade. Valade, deep in Guelph’s end, passed cross-ice to Declan McDonnell (21) who was on the doorstep of the net to shoot it in and make it 3-1.

The two teams exchanged penalties in near succession. During the four-on-four play, Danny Zhilkin (7) uncorked a slap shot from the faceoff circle that deflected off Ingham’s pad and into the net to make it a 3-2 game at 10:30

The Storm tied it up for the first time at when Pavel Gogolev (45), shorthanded, wristed a shot through traffic and into the back of the net and that made it 3-3.

Guelph took their first lead of the night at 16:52 when Hillis put a puck on net that rebounded out to Jacob Roach (12) who shot it past the outstretched pad of Ingham and it was 4-3.

Not to be outdone, the Rangers stormed back when Meireles (29) was allowed to skate unmarked into the high slot where he let loose a wrist shot that beat Bennett to tie it up 4-4.

Shots at the end of the second period were 23-16 in favour of the Storm.

The Blueshirts retook the lead at 1:17 when a shot on net by Meireles (30) hit Bennett and trickled past the Storm goaltender and it was 5-4.

Valade and Bergkvist earned assists on the goal.

At 14:04 Fedor Gordeev took a kneeing penalty when he hit Hawel and that gave the Rangers a two-minute powerplay. On the powerplay, Yantsis (39) collected a rebound in the crease and scored to make it 6-4.

Moments later, Valade and Hawel earned helpers on Meireles’ hat trick goal to seal the deal for the Rangers by giving them a 7-4 lead.

Final shots on goal were 31-28 for the Storm.

The next Rangers home game is Friday, March 13th at 7:30 pm versus the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Their next road game is Wednesday, March 18 at 7:05 pm versus the Sarnia Sting.

Tickets are available for all regular-season home games! Purchase yours in-person at The Aud or Centre in the Square Box Office, by phone (519) 578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977, or online.

Join the conversation on all things Rangers by using #RTown. You can follow the Rangers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OHLRangers.

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