Saturday, February 18, 2006

Whalers stay in first, top Guelph Saturday

The Plymouth Whalers snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat and in doing so, remain in first place in the OHL’s West Division.

Chris Terry’s seventh goal of the season with 3:15 left snapped a 4-4 tie and the Whalers went on to defeat the Guelph Storm, 6-4, before 3,066 at the Compuware Sports Arena.

Plymouth (28-24-1-3) needed the victory to stay in the first place in the OHL West. Saginaw (29-25-1-0) defeated Windsor (26-24-3-3), 7-3, on Saturday night as the OHL West Division continues to be tight.

Trailing 3-0 at one point in the second period and 3-1 after forty minutes of play, the Whalers tied the game in the third period on power-play goals by John Armstrong and Mike Letizia (pictured). Plymouth then took their first lead of the game on another power-play goal, this time by Steve Ward. Guelph tied the game on a power-play goal by Ryan Parent at 13:42, but Terry scored the game-winning goal 3:03 later when he skated in to Guelph zone on the right wing and snapped a shot by Storm goaltender Jason Guy.

Guelph head coach Dave Barr pulled Guy with in the final minute of play for the extra attacker and Guelph’s Rafael Rotter rang a shot off the cross bar. But Letizia picked up a loose puck at the hash marks in his own zone and scored on the empty net to give Plymouth a two-goal cushion.

After a scoreless first period, Guelph led 3-1 in the second period on goals by Jason Pitton, Matt D’Agostini and captain Ryan Callahan. Andrew Fournier started the Plymouth comeback at 8:43 of the second period.

That set the stage for the third period and the Plymouth victory.

Justin Peters stopped 33 shots for the win in goal.

The top of the OHL West Division could change again Sunday. The Whalers are idle, but Saginaw hosts London and Windsor plays in Mississauga.

Plymouth is home next weekend, hosting Erie Friday and London Saturday. The Whalers will then play in Saginaw next Sunday.

Photo by Walt Dmoch.

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