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Saginaw Spirit edges Kitchener Rangers 4-3 in physical playoff match-up

NHL.com @NHL

KITCHENER, Ont. - The Saginaw Spirit held on to beat the Kitchener Rangers 4-3 in a physical Ontario Hockey League playoff game Friday night.

Vincent Trocheck, Jordan Szwarz, Jordan Hill and Mitch Fillman supplied the offence for the Spirit. Edward Pasquale stopped 45 shots for the narrow win.

Jeff Skinner, Gabriel Landeskog and Jeremy Morin all had power-play goals in the third period for Kitchener. Brandon Maxwell had 25 saves.

The Rangers lead the series 3-2. Game 6 will be in Saginaw Sunday afternoon.

The Spirit had jumped out to a 4-0 lead when, at the 13:49 mark of the third period a scrum broke out, with Saginaw's Tyler Murovich, Michael Kantor and Garret Ross earning game misconducts.

Kitchener's Micky Sartoretto and Andrew Crescenzi were also booted from the game.

The game erupted when the Rangers' Maxwell chased after Murovich, ripping the captain's helmet off.

"Did you watch the game?" said Maxwell, when asked why he'd engaged the forward. "No? You didn't? OK. The guy pulled me out of the crease. That's all."

Murovich claims he was trying to defend his teammates when Maxwell was aggressively clearing them out of his crease.

"I just grabbed him and he started throwing them at me," said Murovich. "I wanted to get him out of there. I wanted to get him off of our guys."

The Rangers scored all three of their goals on the ensuing power plays, although the Spirit were able to hold them off for the win.

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