Monday, October 24, 2005

Whalers beat Rangers, fall to Bulls

It was a gut-check weekend for the Plymouth Whalers.

Friday night in Kitchener, Justin Garay (left) made 29 saves to record his first OHL shutout as Plymouth topped the Rangers, 3-0. Mike Letizia, Andrew Fournier and Tom Sestito (power-play) all scored for the Whalers.

The game was also the OHL debut of Rangers' forward Matt Auffrey, who left the University of Wisconsin to play for Kitchener, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2002 OHL Priority Selection.

"It was a get-going and get-used-to-the-flow-of-the-play game for me," Auffrey told the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. "It's a lot smaller rink. I'm used to a really big Olympic-size rink where you play a lot more systems. This is a lot more banging."

Back home Saturday night, Belleville goalie Kevin Lalande made 36 saves as the Bulls beat the Whalers, 3-1, and ended their six-game winning streak. James Neal's first-period power-play goal was Lalande's lone blemish. Plymouth goalie Ryan Nie finished with 29 saves.

"You could tell the guys were maybe a bit cocky after the big win in Kitchener," Whalers coach-GM Mike Vellucci said. "We didn't come prepared (against Belleville) and in this league, you have to come ready to play."

The Whalers play in London against the Knights Friday night and hosts Guelph on Saturday night and Owen Sound on Sunday.

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