Friday, April 07, 2006

Whalers lose Game 1 to Guelph

In spite of finishing 40-24-1-3 during the regular season, it’s fair to say the Guelph Storm flew under the radar during much of the Ontario Hockey League regular season.

But the Storm showed why they are a potential threat to go far in the OHL playoffs as they specialized in defeating the Plymouth Whalers, 4-1, in the opening game of the best-of-seven OHL semifinal playoff series played Friday night at the Compuware Sports Arena.

Guelph built a 3-0 lead after one period on two power-play goals and a shorthanded effort and protected the lead the rest of the way.

Matt D’Agostini led the Guelph attack with a goal and an assist as the game’s first star. Mark O’Leary also had a goal and an assist for Guelph, while Mike McLean added a shorthanded goal and Jason Pitton scored into an empty net.

Andrew Fournier scored the lone Whaler goal in the second period for Plymouth.

Ryan McDonald was solid in goal for Guelph, stopping 23 shots as the game’s third star. MacDonald lowered his league-leading goals against average in the OHL playoffs to 1.23, while raising his playoff save percentage to .951 – which also leads the OHL playoffs.

Plymouth goaltender Justin Peters (pictured, circa 2001) finished with 30 saves.

Plymouth and Guelph meet in Game 2 of the series Saturday night in Guelph at 7:30 p.m. Game 3 of the series is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Compuware Sports Arena.

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