Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Whalers deal goalie Garay to Erie

The Plymouth Whalers have traded third-year goaltender Justin Garay to the Erie Otters in exchange for a conditional draft choice in 2007.

The trade reduces Plymouth’s crowded goaltending situation. Michal Neuvirth and Jeremy Smith have split duty in goal so far this season with rookie Kyle Jendra as the third goaltender.

Garay, 19 and from Monaca, Penn., was selected by Plymouth in the eighth round (159th overall) in the 2003 OHL Priority Selection. Garay made his OHL debut on October 1, 2004 in London in a 5-4 overtime loss. He played in 22 games in his rookie season in 2004-05, posting a 3.64 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage.

Last year, Garay compiled excellent numbers through the first two months of the season with a 2.70 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, including his first OHL shutout on Oct, 21, 2005 in a 3-0 victory in Kitchener. But Garay injured his ankle last November and appeared in five games the rest of the season. Overall, Garay had a 3.72 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage in 14 games in 2005-06. He also won the Barbara Ann Karmanos Community Goals Award.

In addition, the Whalers have assigned goaltender Kyle Jendra to the Traverse City North Stars and defenseman Chad Loikets has moved on to play for Gatineau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Loikets was picked up off waivers from Erie last week, but did not see any game action.

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