Thursday, November 24, 2005

Whalers win, Spirit and North Stars fall

The Plymouth Whalers needed overtime to beat the Sarnia Sting Wednesday night and in the process took over first place in the OHL's West Division due to Saginaw losing to London.

Dan Collins (left) scored 2:05 into overtime to give the Whalers a 4-3 win. Captain John Vigilante and James Neal had a goal and an assist apiece for Plymouth. Steve Ward scored the other Whalers’ goal, while Vaclav Meidl chipped in with three assists.

Ryan Nie made 30 saves in net for the win.

The game marked the debut of two new Whalers – center Evan Brophey and defenseman Wes Cunningham – acquired earlier in the day from Belleville along with a fourth-round draft choice in 2006 in exchange for center Cory Tanaka and two second-round draft choices. Brophey and Cunningham played regular shifts, but didn't figure in the scoring.

Plymouth plays in Sault Ste. Marie Friday night and returns home Saturday night to host the CHL's top team, the Peterborough Petes, at 7:30 p.m.

Up in Saginaw, the Spirit could only muster a third-period goal from captain Patrick McNeill as they fell to the Knights, 4-1. Ryan Daniels made 33 saves in defeat.

The Spirit resume action Saturday at home against the Owen Sound Attack. Game time is 7:11 p.m.

Over in Traverse City, the North Stars dropped a 5-1 decision to the U.S. National Under-18 Team. Matthew Larke got the home team on the scoreboard at 16:07 of the final period on assists from Jonathan Juliano and Jared Mullen for Traverse City's lone tally. Jeremy Kaleniecki made 30 stops for the host Stars.

It was the fourth consecutive defeat for the North Stars, who fall to 9-11-2. Team USA’s combined Under-17/Under-18 record is 16-6-3 in the NAHL and the Under-18 squad is 8-0-0 against NAHL competition.

The North Stars travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Team USA Under-17 team this Saturday before a weekend series at Cleveland on Dec. 3-4.

Dan Collins photo by Matt Mackinder

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