Monday, November 06, 2006

Whalers suffer brutal weekend out east

The Plymouth Whalers left for their eastern Ontario road swing a .500 team (8-6-0-0) only to return one game under (8-9-0-0) the break-even mark.

Plymouth lost 3-2 in Ottawa on Friday, 3-1 in Belleville Saturday and 5-2 in Kingston yesterday with only five defenseman and seven forwards.

James Neal scored both goals for the Whalers against Ottawa and Jeremy Smith made 31 saves in goal.

Vern Cooper tallied the lone goal Saturday. Michal Neuvirth stopped 33 shots.

Sunday, Cooper and Wes Cunningham scored and Smith and Neuvirth combined for 31 saves. Neuvirth started, played the first 40 minutes and took the loss.

Captain Steve Ward, Jared Boll, Dan Collins, Neal, Ryan McGinnis and Tom Sestito didn't play Sunday along with Andrew Fournier and Joe McCann. Zack Shepley and John Armstrong didn't play all weekend.

Eight players broke curfew Saturday night while at a Belleville restaurant and were caught by head coach Mike Vellucci.

"Not the way I wanted to spend my birthday," Fournier told the Kingston Whig-Standard.

He turned 19 yesterday and missed his team's only visit to his hometown.

Vellucci refused to elaborate on the incident, saying only that the matter "was behind us" and that the eight would be reinstated for Plymouth’s next game.

"The guys that did play played great and showed a ton of character," Vellucci said in the same Whig article. "We never gave up and with a couple of breaks, who knows?"

The Whalers return home to host Owen Sound Friday and Sarnia Saturday. Plymouth is then in Sarnia for a Sunday matinee.

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