Monday, October 31, 2005

Plymouth ends three-game skid

Their three-game losing streak is over as the Plymouth Whalers salvaged their weekend with a 6-5 win over the Owen Sound Attack Sunday afternoon.

After losing to Belleville last Saturday, the Whalers began last weekend with an 8-3 loss in London Friday night and then a 2-1 squeaker to Guelph at home on Saturday night.

Friday night against the defending OHL and Memorial Cup champs, David Bolland scored three goals for the Knights as London cruised to the easy win. Josh Beaulieu scored 29 seconds into the game and Robbie Drummond, Trevor Kell, A.J. Perry and captain Dylan Hunter also tallied for London. Hunter added four assists and Rob Schremp chipped in with three helpers. Adam Dennis stopped 37 shots for the win.

“We stood around and watched (London),” Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci said. “We gave them too much respect and by the time we woke up and realized we could compete with them, it was too late.”

Vaclav Meidl, James Neal and Ondrej Otcenas (first OHL goal) scored for the Whalers, who got 19 saves out of starter Justin Garay and 11 saves out of Ryan Nie, who played 19:09 of the second period. Garay was credited with the loss. Captain John Vigilante added two assists.

“We felt we had something to prove. We don't want losing to become a habit in here,” Bolland said in the London Free Press. “I don't know if Plymouth had an off night, but we had heard they were one of the top teams in the West and we wanted to come out and perform the way we can.”

At the Compuware Sports Arena Saturday night, the Storm jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Rafael Rotter and Tyler Doig and held on for the 2-1 win. Vigilante scored a short-handed goal 10:37 into the third period, but Plymouth couldn’t find the equalizer with Nie on the bench.

“A two-goal lead is nothing in hockey and it would have been easier if we would have had the lead,” Nie said. “We just have to better prepare and get back to basics.”

Nie finished with 28 saves. Ryan MacDonald made 28 saves for the Storm, but wasn’t named a star. First star went to Vigilante, second to Guelph captain Ryan Callahan and third to Plymouth forward Chris Terry.

Gino Pisellini also had a great toe-to-toe fight with Kelsey Wilson in the second period.

Against Owen Sound for a matinee Sunday, Tom Sestito’s power-play goal 7:48 into the third period off-set an Andrej Sekera hat trick for Owen Sound and Nie stopped 39 shots for the 6-5 win.

“The coaches had told us between (the second and third) periods that the referees were calling everything but we still took some stupid penalties and they capitalized on them," said Sestito (pictured), who added an assist on Pisellini's goal, to the Canadian Press. “We were fortunate to be able to respond. The bench never got down and I was able to get in front of the net and get my stick on a loose puck.”

Jared Boll and Andrew Fournier had a goal and an assist for the Whalers, Terry recorded three assists and Dan Collins and Vigilante added a pair. Cory Tanaka (penalty shot), Neal and Pisellini scored Plymouth’s other goals.

Owen Sound captain Bobby Ryan and Mike Angelidis each had a goal and two assists for the Attack while Neil Conway started in net and allowed four goals on 12 shots in 27:42. Russ Brownell took over and stopped nine of 11 in 30:41.

The Whalers are in Windsor Thursday night, in Guelph Friday night and home against Toronto on Saturday evening.

Sestito photo courtesy of the Plymouth Whalers

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