Monday, January 16, 2006

Plymouth tops Ottawa Sunday, 3-1

Playing a fourth game in less than five days, Plymouth’s 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon over the Ottawa 67’s at the Compuware Sports Arena wasn’t pretty. But it was effective and enough to give the Whalers a 2-2 split over the four games.

Plymouth captain John Vigilante (above) led the offensive attack with a goal and an assist, while Mike Letizia and Dan Collins added single goals. Whalers' goaltender Justin Peters stopped 32 of 33 Ottawa shots as the game’s first star to run his record to 8-5-0-0 since coming over from Toronto in a trade Dec. 9.

Jamie McGinn scored the lone Ottawa goal in the third period to ruin Peters’ shutout bid.

First-place Plymouth (now 23-16-1-3 for 50 points) needed the victory to remain four points up on Saginaw (now 23-18-0-0), who beat Sault Ste. Marie, 5-4 in overtime.

After defeating Saginaw, 4-0 on Wednesday, Plymouth lost, 4-1 and 7-4, to the Kitchener Rangers on Friday and Saturday. The Whalers had every reason to be sluggish at the start of today’s game, but outshot Ottawa, 24-8, in a decisive first period that saw Plymouth take a 2-0 lead.

The line of Vigilante, Chris Terry and Joe McCann set up the first goal at 11:08 of the first period when Terry took a hard shot from the right dot that seemed to handcuff Ottawa goaltender Brady Morrison. Morrison didn’t see the loose puck standing alone at the right goal post and Vigilante pounced on the puck and put it into the net for his 21st goal of the season.

Letizia capped severe Whaler pressure on a power play at 15:24 of the period when Vigilante hit him with a sharp pass from the right dot to the left hash mark. Letizia made no mistake to score his ninth goal of the season.

After a scoreless second period, Collins scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season at 6:17 of the third period when he batted home rebound.

McGinn scored the final goal of the game when he re-directed Derek Joslin’s point shot by Peters.

Plymouth outshot Ottawa, 35-33.

Plymouth is off until Friday night when they play in Guelph against the Storm before returning home Saturday to host the Windsor Spitfires at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers.

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