KITCHENER, Ont. - Ryan Murphy had a goal and an assist as the Kitchener Rangers held off the Guelph Storm with a 6-4 win on Tuesday in Ontario Hockey League action.
The Rangers had a 5-1 lead early in the third period before the Storm came back with three straight goals to make it interesting. But Matt Puempel scored his 30th goal of the season in an empty net 1:18 remaining for some insurance.
The win gave the Rangers a five-point lead over Guelph for fourth place in the standings and put them within one point of third-place Owen Sound.
Radek Faksa, Brent Pedersen, Derek Schoenmakers and Ben Thomson also scored for the Rangers (37-18-8), who have won two of their last three games. Frank Corrado and Tobias Rieder chipped in with two helpers each.
Zach Leslie had a goal and two assists for the Storm (36-21-5), while Cody McNaughton, Andrey Pedan and Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal each.
Joel Vienneau turned aside 28 of 32 shots for the win in net, while Garret Sparks absorbed the loss, stopping 27 of the 32 shots he faced in 42:51 before being relieved by Michael Nishi. Nishi stopped all four shots he faced in 17:09 minutes of action.
Kitchener was 3-for-6 on the power play, while Guelph scored in one opportunity with the man advantage.
Kitchener jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the game on goals by Faksa, on the power play, and Pedersen. McNaughton got that one back at 8:42 of the first period, before Murphy???s blast from the point beat Sparks with the Rangers enjoying another man advantage.
Schoenmakers stretched the lead in the second with a shot through a crowd, again on the power play, before Thomson added a short-handed goal to make it 5-1.
The Storm woke up though and had goals from Leslie, Pedan and Bertuzzi to put a scare in the Rangers, before Puempel put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal.