Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Whalers fall behind 'Hounds in OHL West

After a 3-1 win Wednesday night in Saginaw, the Plymouth Whalers decimated the Windsor Spitfires Friday night before falling to the dominant London Knights Saturday and Erie Otters Sunday.

In Friday's home sellout, rookie Cory Tanaka scored twice and John Mitchell and John Vigilante each had a goal and two assists in the 7-2 win over the Spitfires. Jonas Fiedler, Gino Pisellini and Mike Looby also scored for the Whalers, who got a 26-save performance out of goalie Ryan Nie.

Saturday, the CHL-leading Knights put three on the board in the first period and never looked back in the 5-1 win, another sellout. Dan Collins ruined Adam Dennis' shutout bid with a power-play goal at 15:45 of the third period. Rookie Justin Garay, in net for the previous two losses at London, finished with 26 saves.

Then Sunday in Erie, Penn., Vigilante and Tanaka scored, but couldn't overcome the Otters and lost, 5-2. Nie was back in goal and made 20 saves. Erie’s victory is their first against Plymouth at the Tullio Arena since March 1, 1998. The Whalers had gone 16-0-3 during that time in Erie over 16 regular season games and three playoff games.

Plymouth is now three points back of the first-place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL's West Division. The Whalers (26-26-5-3) host the Sudbury Wolves (Friday) and Sarnia Sting (Saturday) this weekend before venturing to Sault Ste. Marie Sunday night. Game time Friday and Saturday is 7:30 p.m.

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