Saturday, January 14, 2006

Whalers fall again to Rangers, 7-4, Saturday

Former Saginaw Spirit first-round pick Jean-Michel Rizk scored a short-handed goal at 8:50 of the third period to snap a 4-4 tie and the Kitchener Rangers went on to defeat the Plymouth Whalers, 7-4, Saturday night before 3,015.

With the victory, Kitchener (now 27-12-1-1) completed a home-and-home sweep of Plymouth. The Rangers beat Plymouth, 4-1, Friday night in Kitchener.

While Rizk scored the game-winner with his sixth goal of the year, Kitchener left wing Craig Voakes was the game’s first star with four goals. Detroit Red Wings' draft pick Evan McGrath and third star Justin Azevedo scored one goal apiece.

Plymouth’s goals – all in the second period – came from Dan Collins (team-leading 25 of the season), captain John Vigilante, Gino Pisellini and Andrew Fournier (above).

Kitchener raced to a 3-0 lead after the first period on goals by McGrath (1:51), Voakes (8:15) and Azevedo (9:15).

The Whalers started their comeback at 1:21 of a wild second period when Collins’ hard shot from the right point found the mark under the bar by Kitchener goaltender Dan Turple. Vigilante then cut the Kitchener lead to 3-2 at 5:38 of the period when he took a back hand shot from the right wing that Turple got a piece of, but the puck trickled over the line. Voakes scored his second of the night at 6:51 of the period when he stuffed from the left goal line by Plymouth goaltender Justin Peters. Pisellini cut the Kitchener lead to 4-3 at 15:16 when he batted home a loose puck through traffic in front of the Kitchener goal by Turple and Fournier tied the game with 55 seconds left in the period when he stuffed home his own rebound by Turple.

Rizk’s game-winner came when, with Azevedo serving a penalty for tripping, he followed up on his own shot on Peters from the right wing and stuffed home the rebound. Voakes completed the scoring in the third period with goals at 16:30 and 18:31.

Plymouth remains in first place in the OHL’s West Division with a record of 22-16-1-3 and is four points ahead of Saginaw (22-18-0-0), who defeated Ottawa tonight, 7-5.

Plymouth hosts Ottawa Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers.

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