Friday, October 24, 2008

Plymouth plays home-and-home with Spits

Although young ghosts and goblins can find treats on Saturday when the Plymouth Whalers (5-5-1-0) host the Windsor Spitfires at 7:05 p.m. at Compuware Arena, the Whalers hope to turn a trick or two against the top-ranked Spitfires (12-1-0-0).

Corporate partners of the Whalers will be passing out treats to ghosts and goblins of all ages on Saturday. Plymouth plays in Windsor on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Whalers last scheduled game at venerable Windsor Arena. The Spitfires are scheduled to move into the new Windsor Family Credit Union Arena in December, with the first game set for December 11 against Belleville.

The weekend series represents a bit of a role reversal between Plymouth and Windsor. The Whalers – with 10 division titles, two OHL titles and a run of 17 straight years in the playoffs, the best current active streak of any OHL team - have dominated the overall series with Windsor, posting a 90-53-8-1 edge since the two teams started play in 1990. Plymouth has also gone 43-30-3 at Windsor Arena.

Since winning the OHL championship in 2007, the Whalers have gone younger and come into this weekend with a two-game winning streak. Carolina prospect and captain Chris Terry (9-3-12) leads Plymouth in scoring, while Ryan Hayes (5-3-8), Vern Cooper (3-5-8) and another Carolina pick, Michal Jordan (2-6-8, +9), have eight points apiece. Three other Whalers – Joe Gaynor (3-4-7, +7), Kaine Geldart (2-5-7) and Tyler Seguin (0-7-7) - have seven points each. Whalers goaltenders Jeremy Smith and Matt Hackett have both had success against the Spitfires.

Windsor has been on the rise since former National Hockey League players Warren Rychel and Bob Boughner, along with Windsor businessman Peter Dobrich, purchased the team in 2006. Windsor comes into the weekend as the top team in the Canadian Hockey League Mosaik Mastercard rankings and currently leads the OHL with 52 goals scored through 13 games.

Second-year player and top-prospect Ryan Ellis (8-14-22) leads all OHL defensemen in scoring and is second in the OHL to Oshawa’s John Tavares. Forward Taylor Hall (7-12-19) and Toronto draft pick Dale Mitchell (7-8-15) are fourth and ninth, respectively, in the OHL in scoring.

No comments: