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Rangers get back in win column in Guelph

Mike Petizian's 30th goal of the season was part of a two-goal third period that sealed the deal
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Kitchener's Mitch Martin Guelph Storm goaltender Jacob Oster with a backhand Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.

It was a night of milestones for the Kitchener Rangers, as they took sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference.

Francesco Pinelli opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the year in the first, while Mike Petizian entered the 30-goal club in a 5-4 win Friday night in Guelph.

"(The game) had a playoff vibe to it tonight," said Rangers head coach Mike McKenzie. "Obviously a rivalry game, a full house which was cool to see. That's what OHL hockey should be."

"It was close, but we're happy to get the two points at the end of it."

Pinelli had a three-point night. McKenzie commended his captain for his play at both ends of the rink, and playing big minutes.

The captain's goal was the lone marker in the first, before things went back and forth in the middle frame.

It was 3-3 after two, after Cameron Mercer and Mitch Martin scored for the Rangers to make it 3-1, before they surrendered the lead against a Storm team that makes a habit of not going away quietly.

In the third, Petizian's milestone goal came of the shorthanded variety, his fifth shorty of the year.

"He's a spark plug for us," McKenzie said of the overage forward. "He battles, he's all over the ice, his energy, works every day. He's a huge part of our team, and it's nice to see him get 30 (goals)."

Adam Zidlicky made it a two-goal cushion a couple minutes later.

Sasha Pastujov brought the game to within one, but Pavel Cajan and the Rangers defense held the late Storm surge at bay to collect the win.

The Rangers are in London Saturday afternoon.

The pregame starts at 3:30 p.m. on CityNews 570 with Mark Pare and Chris Pope.

Mark Pare

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