Saturday, December 17, 2005

Whalers win, Spirit fall on Friday

The Plymouth Whalers used seven different goal scorers to overcome a John Tavares hat trick for Oshawa in a 7-4 road win Friday night. Plymouth (17-11-1-3) is two points up on Saginaw (18-12-0-0), who lost, 9-6 on Friday in Mississauga.

The Whalers used excellent balance with seven goal scorers, including Joe Gaynor (pictured) with his first OHL goal; James Neal (12), John Armstrong (6), Gino Pisellini (8), Jared Boll (10), Ondrej Otcenas (4), and Evan Brophey (11 and second as a Whaler). Plymouth never trailed in the game, leading 2-1 after one period and 4-1 after forty minutes of play.

Although Oshawa outshot Plymouth, 38-36, Whalers’ goaltender Justin Peters was steady in goal in picking up his second victory for the Whalers since coming over from Toronto in a trade a week ago.

The key moments in the game came in the second period after Tavares’ first goal of the game cut the Plymouth lead to 2-1. The line of Dan Collins, Armstrong and Gaynor cycled the puck effectively deep in the Oshawa zone and Armstrong scored when he tucked a shot from the right hash-mark under the cross bar by starting Oshawa goaltender Carlo DiRienzo. Then Pisellini scored at 8:45 when he accepted a pass on the right wing at the Oshawa blue line and scored with one hand on the stick roofing the shot from the right wing over DiRienzo’s shoulder.

Plymouth was the only team in the OHL West Division to win Friday night. Besides Saginaw losing, Windsor (now 11-9-2-2) lost, 3-1, in Brampton; Sarnia lost, 6-2, in Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie lost, 6-4, in Guelph.

Saginaw plays Saturday night in Owen Sound and Sunday afternoon in Guelph. Plymouth is back in action Sunday afternoon in Toronto against the Majors.

Saginaw fell 9-6 to the Mississauga Ice Dogs Friday night in Mississauga, in a game that saw 92 minutes of penalties. The Ice Dogs scored four times against the Spirit in the first period, before Saginaw cut the Mississauga lead to 4-3 in the second. But the Dogs dominated the middle of the second period into the third period, going up 9-4, before Saginaw scored twice in the final four minutes to draw within three goals.

Spirit goal scorers were Jesse Gimblett, Joe McCann, Patrick Asselin (2), Ryan McDonough and Chris Chappell. Spirit captain Patrick McNeill contributed three assists and Spirit goaltender Ryan Daniels stopped 30 of 39 Ice Dogs shots.

The loss takes Saginaw's record to 18-12-0-0. The Spirit return to action Saturday night against the Owen Sound Attack in Owen Sound, the second of a three game road trip.

Saginaw returns home Wednesday, Dec. 28 to face the Erie Otters. The Spirit welcome nine-time Stanley Cup champion coach Scotty Bowman, courtesy AAA of Michigan, Merrill Tool and Machine and Tri-Star Trust Bank.

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