Francesco Pinelli leads Kitchener Rangers to weekend win over Guelph Storm

The Kitchener Rangers were victorious as they visited the Guelph Storm on Saturday night in the latest instalment of the Battle of Highway 7.

Francesco Pinelli, who was returning from a three-game suspension, notched a hat trick as the captain helped lead the Rangers to a 5-1 victory over the Storm.

Matthew Sop opened the scoring for Kitchener with 47 seconds remaining in the first period, leaving the Rangers with a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

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Carson Rehkopf doubled up the Rangers’ advantage early in the second period as he found the back of the net at the 2:33 mark.

Then it was Pinelli’s turn to take over as he scored all three of his goals in the second period, putting Kitchener ahead 5-0 after two frames.

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The Storm got a consolation marker from Cam Allen with less than four minutes to go.

Marcus Vandenberg turned aside 22 shots to record the victory, while Jacob Oster made 18 saves on 23 shots to record the loss. Oster was replaced in the third period by Dixon Grimes, who held Kitchener in check on the eight shots he faced.

The Storm will pay a return visit to the Rangers on Tuesday night for the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.

Fans are asking to bring a new or gently used teddy bear to the game and toss it onto the ice after Kitchener’s first goal.

All of the bears will be collected and turned over to local charitable organizations for Christmas.

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