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Rangers rout rival in Teddy Bear Toss game

Francesco Pinelli potted the opening goal of the game, sending stuffed animals flying

Francesco fired, and the fur flew. 

The Kitchener Rangers captain scored 4:17 into the first period, and brought 9,962 bears barrelling down to the ice at the Memorial Auditorium. 

The Blueshirts scored in every period, and stomped the Guelph Storm 4-1, for their second win in a row. 

"I didn't think it was as good as our game in Guelph," said head coach Chris Dennis, comparing Tuesday's win to Saturday's 5-1 win in the Royal City. "But, it was still good. Good enough to get the job done. I was actually really proud of our third period. I thought we were a little loose in the first. We got better in the second and the third."

Pinelli added an assist for another multi-point game. His line mate, Filip Mesar had two goals in his return, after missing two games. 

"Your best players have to be your best players and carry your team most nights," said Dennis. "All year, really, Pinelli's been doing that for us, and then when [Mesar] is on, obviously he's very dangerous."

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LISTEN: Kitchener Rangers General Manager Mike McKenzie spoke with City's Colour Commentator Chris Pope to discuss the first third of the season, and the upcoming trade deadline. 

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It wasn't just the top players though. Dennis dropped Joseph Serpa to the third line, pairing him with Adrian Misaljevic, and Jesse Fishman. 

They might have been the best line. Misaljevic scored in the third period, with his linemates picking up assists. So, Mr. Dennis, what led to that success?

"Their work ethic," said the head coach. "Then when [Serpa] gets the puck and starts doing his thing he's dangerous. So again, really proud of him and the game he played, how he managed pucks, and the plays he made. He didn't force anything, and really forced them to defend. I thought he was excellent."

Marcus Vandenberg picked up his second straight win, against the Storm. Marco Costantini was injured in practice this week. The team doesn't expect him to be out long, but the back-up, "Vanden-burglar" stole the show Tuesday. 

"He's been outstanding basically in every game he's played in," said Dennis. "I'm not sure that's a 4-1 game. I think it's a lot closer than that, and I thought he was probably the difference."

He's stopped 60-of-62 shots in his last two starts against Guelph. 

"That's great for my confidence," said Vandenberg. "I'm able to feel myself out there, get some games in there, which I wasn't able to get before, and I was starting to make some good stops out there and feeling great."

The Rangers have a tough test, later this week, when they head to Peterborough to play the Petes, Thursday. CityNews 570 will have the pregame show at 6:30 p.m.

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