Rangers ride early lead past slumping Sting

The Sarnia Sting allowed five goals in the first period of a 7-4 road loss to the Kitchener Rangers on Friday.

Sarnia Sting's Ryan Roth (37) plays against the Owen Sound Attack at Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, Ont., on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

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The Sarnia Sting and Kitchener Rangers were heading in opposite directions going into Friday’s game.

Both teams appear to be picking up steam after the Rangers rolled to a 7-4 win before 6,770 fans at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

The Rangers (28-11-4-2) led by as many as five goals on the way to their fourth consecutive win.

They’re on a 13-game point streak (11-0-2-0) and are 21-1-2-0 in their past 24 games.

The Sting, meanwhile, have lost five in a row and 14 of 15.

The Sting (16-26-4-0) are stuck in the OHL’s Western Conference basement. They’re now 12 points out of a playoff spot.

They trailed 5-1 after the first period despite outshooting the Rangers 15-12.

Sting goalie Ethan Langevin was pulled after allowing four goals on 10 shots in just under 15 minutes.

Rookie Ben Gaudreau came in to stop 22 of 25 shots.

Ryan Roth led the Sting’s offence with two goals. Ryan McGregor and Eric Hjorth also scored.

Second-round draft pick Justin O’Donnell picked up an assist for his first career OHL point in his 31st game.

The Midwest Division-leading Rangers took control early when Jonathan Yantsis and Serron Noel scored 23 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead before the game was five minutes old.

McGregor replied at 11:12, but the Rangers struck back with three more goals in 56 seconds.

Reid Valade scored at 14:20, Donovan Sebrango followed at 14:54 to chase Langevin, and Holden Wale tallied at 15:16 for the 5-1 lead.

Valade scored again in the second period for a 6-1 lead before Roth netted his first of the night.

Mike Petizian put the Rangers ahead 7-2 early in the third.

Hjorth and Roth scored to cut the Sting’s deficit to three before Rangers goalie Jacob Ingham shut the door. He finished with 34 saves.

The Sting will try again to end their skid Sunday when the Windsor Spitfires visit Progressive Auto Sales Arena at 4:05 p.m. The Spitfires (27-10-5-0) have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.