KITCHENER, Ont. - Ryan Murphy scored twice and Joshua Leivo had three assists as the Kitchener Rangers defeated the visiting Guelph Storm 5-2 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League playoff action.
Evan McEneny, Curtis Meighan and Matt Puempel also scored for the Rangers (1-0-0) while Tobias Rieder chipped in with two assists.
Andrey Pedan and Jason Dickinson replied for the Storm (0-1-0).
John Gibson turned aside 36-of-38 shots for the win, while Garret Sparks, who took the loss, was chased from the game after giving up five goals on 29 shots. Michael Nishi replaced Sparks at 17:53 of the second period and stopped all 13 shots he faced.
The teams traded power-play goals in the first period, with Murphy blasting a shot from the point past Sparks, before Pedan?s shot from the blueline slid under Gibson.
Dickinson banged in a rebound 36 seconds into the second period to put Guelph ahead, but the Rangers scored four unanswered goals in the period to take a commanding 5-2 lead.
Murphy started it off with a power-play goal, before a McEneny wrist shot floated by Sparks with the Rangers on another man advantage.
Meighan added to the lead four minutes later with a shot that bounced off a Guelph player and by Sparks.
Puempel chased Sparks from the game after cutting down the right side and beating the netminder on the short side at 17:53.
The game got chippy in the third period, but neither team was able to score.
Kitchener was 4 for 10 on the power play, while Guelph scored once on four opportunities with the man advantage.
The Rangers lead the first-round matchup 1-0 and will host Game 2 on Sunday Mar. 24th at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.