Saturday, September 03, 2005

Plymouth wins pre-season opener over Spits

First star Andrew Fournier

The Plymouth Whalers beat the Windsor Spitfires, 6-5, this afternoon at the Compuware Sports Arena in both team's pre-season openers.

Plymouth came all the way back from an early 3-0 deficit in the first period to take a 4-3 lead in the second period. The game see-sawed until Gino Pisellini scored the game-winning goal on a power play at 10:55 of the third period.

Ryan Stephenson led the Plymouth attack with a pair of goals as the game's second star.

Whalers center Andrew Fournier - coming back after missing the second half of last season with a sliced Achilles' Tendon - was the game's first star with a goal and two assists. James Neal, Jared Boll and Pisellini added singles for the Whalers.

As with most OHL preseason games, the Whalers used the opener to play rookies, who saw action in all situations. Plymouth veterans John Armstrong, Dan Collins, Justin Garay, Mike Letizia and Zack Shepley - among others - sat out the game.

"We wanted to see Joe Gaynor, Chris Terry, Ondrej Otcenas, Brett Bellemore, and all the young guys," said Plymouth general manager and head coach Mike Vellucci. "I thought they played pretty well considering it was the first game for everyone."

Plymouth outshot Windsor, 42-31. Ryan Nie started in goal for Plymouth and was relieved by rookie Jeremy Smith midway through the second period.

Plymouth and Windsor meet again on Monday at 2:00 pm at Windsor Arena.

The Whalers then play in Sarnia next Friday, Sept. 9, before returning home next Saturday, Sept. 10, to host Sarnia at 3:30 pm.

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