Three points separated the Kitchener Rangers and the Guelph Storm in the regular season standings, the closest margin of any two teams meeting in the first round of the OHL playoffs. The series begins March 22.
SERIES D: KITCHENER VS. GUELPH
• Series begins Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Kitchener.
How the teams match up:
Kitchener Rangers (39-20-1-8, 87 points — 216 GF, 185 GA)
- Top Scorer: Joshua Leivo (LW), 29G, 44A, 73 points
- Right winger Tobias Rieder averaged over a point per game this season, scoring 56 points (27-29) in 52 games.
- Defenseman Ryan Murphy was third on the team in points, with 10 goals and 38 assists for 48 points in 54 games.
- Left winger Matt Puempel had 47 points in 51 games, and 15 of his 35 goals this season came on the power play.
- Kitchener won its last three games of the season, including a 3-2 win over Guelph on March 13. The Rangers followed that with a 7-1 win over Saginaw and a 6-4 victory over Sault Ste. Marie on March 16.
Guelph Storm (39-23-2-4, 84 points — 253 GF, 210 GA)
- Top Scorer: Scott Kosmachuk (RW), 35G, 30A, 65 points
- Center Tanner Richard had the best points/game average on the team (1.19) as he scored 62 points in just 52 games played this season. Richard also led the team with 51 assists.
- Right winger Zack Mitchell had 56 points (22-34) in 68 games, good for third on the team in points scoring.
- Defenseman Andrey Pedan led Storm blueliners with 44 points (14-30) in 60 games and also led all Storm players with 145 penalty minutes.
- Guelph dropped its last game of the season, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Erie Otters on March 16.
The Season Series
Kitchener won five of the eight meetings between the teams this season, including winning the last pair of games. The Storm won the first meeting, 3-2, on December 4, but the Rangers took the following three meetings by scores of 6-2, 3-2 and 5-2. Guelph won the next pair by scores of 4-3 and 5-3 before Kitchener came out on top on March 5 by a score of 6-4. Finally, the Rangers edged Guelph 3-2 on March 13.
Game #1: GUE @ KIT | Fri Mar 22 | 7:30 PM
Game #2: GUE @ KIT | Sun Mar 24 | 7:00 PM
Game #3: KIT @ GUE | Tue Mar 26 | 7:00 PM
Game #4: KIT @ GUE | Thu Mar 28 | 7:00 PM
Game #5: GUE @ KIT | Fri Mar 29 | 7:30 PM * if necessary
Game #6: KIT @ GUE | Sun Mar 31 | 2:00 PM * if necessary
Game #7: GUE @ KIT | Mon Apr 1 | 7:00 PM * if necessary