Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plymouth plays three in three this weekend

The way Plymouth Whalers head coach Greg Stefan sees it, his team is looking to rebound from a three-game losing streak in a big way this upcoming weekend when the Whalers play three games in less-than-three days, hosting Owen Sound on this Friday and Peterborough on Saturday at Compuware Arena before playing in Brampton on Sunday afternoon.

“Adversity can make you stronger as a team,” Stefan said. “When I was with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, we lost a couple of games that season by scores of 9-3 and 9-1 and came out if it stronger. We went on to win the Stanley Cup that year.”

Here’s a look at the upcoming weekend:

FRIDAY – OWEN SOUND (18-25-2-2) at PLYMOUTH (24-17-2-2), 7:05 p.m. Compuware Arena. The Whalers have won two of the three games with the Attack this season. Plymouth will look to rebound with leading scorers Chris Terry (32-42-74, +11), Andrew Fournier (25-27-52), AJ Jenks (21-16-37) and Vern Cooper (11-7-18). Ryan Hayes – just over from Boston College – has added six points in six games. Goaltender Jeremy Smith (Brownstown) remains among the league leaders with a 2.81 goals against average and .919 save percentage.
The Attack is in ninth place in the Western Conference playoff race and eight points out of the final playoff spot with 21 games left, so each game is important for Owen Sound. Matt Carter (26-17-43) has four goals against the Whalers in three games and Chris MacKinnon (18-30-48) – over from Sault Ste. Marie for veteran Wayne Simmonds – is a player Owen Sound feels they can build around. Rookie Tyler Beskorowany (3.47, .909) is a goaltender worth watching. Defenseman David Kolomatis (8-28-36) is Owen Sound’s highest rated NHL prospect.

SATURDAY – PETERBOROUGH (20-22-0-3) at PLYMOUTH, 7:05 p.m. Compuware Arena. The Whalers defeated Peterborough, 5-2, on Dec. 13 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. The Petes feature defenseman New York native Zack Bogosian (9-35-44), currently ranked third overall by NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau among all North American prospects. Former Whaler John Armstrong (17-26-43) – a draft choice of the Calgary Flames – has recently been signed by the Flames and is playing some of the best hockey of his OHL career. Trevor Cann (3.79, .902) has been a good netminder in the OHL for a long time.

SUNDAY – PLYMOUTH at BRAMPTON (27-16-1-2), 2:00 p.m. Powerade Centre. The Whalers play the Battalion for the first time this season. Brampton is putting together a solid season and is challenging Belleville and Oshawa as the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Battalion features a balance attack with nine different players scoring in double figures already this season. Cody Hodgson (32-29-61) and John Hughes (18-43-61) are the leaders up front, but New York Rangers prospect Bob Sanguinetti (18-30-48) adds plenty of offense from the blue line.

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