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McDonnell nets OT winner as Rangers take home opener

The Highway 7 rivalry renewed in a high-scoring affair, but the Kitchener Rangers emerged with a 6-5 OT win over Guelph

Because of course after 576 days, the Kitchener Rangers and Guelph Storm gave the fans at the Aud some free hockey.

And in the end, it was a goal that needed video review to finish it off as Declan McDonnell led the Rangers to a 6-5 win in overtime Friday night.

Francesco Pinelli streaked down the left wing, and his pass into the slot --- intended for McDonnell --- went off Danny Zhilkin, McDonnell was stopped in close but Zhilkin's momentum ultimately carried him (and the puck) into goalie Owen Bennett and the puck crossed the line.

Both the LA Kings' second rounder Pinelli and overager Mike Petizian had three points on the night.

It finished a wild home opener, one where the Rangers never trailed, despite Guelph out shooting them 37-23 overall.

Pinelli and Petizian had goals to give Kitchener a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes, before Reid Valade got on the board 47 seconds into the second.

Matthew Poitras responded quickly for Guelph, scoring twice in 37 seconds to make it a 3-2 game less than two minutes into the middle frame.

Ben McFarlane tied the game with exactly half of regulation in the books, but Joseph Serpa gave Kitchener its lead back 30 seconds.

Jake Karabella wrapped up a high-scoring second period a couple minutes later.

Roman Schmidt and Braeden Bowman traded goals in the third, sending the game to OT.

Pavel Cajan had an impressive debut, despite giving up five goals.  He made 32 saves for his first career OHL win.

The two teams play again Saturday night in Guelph.

Pregame on 570 NEWS is 6:30 p.m.




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Mark Pare

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