Whalers Battle Oshawa to the Last Shot, Lose in Friday Shootout

Whalers Battle Oshawa to the Last Shot, Lose in Friday Shootout

Photos by Mandy Getschman - (Top) Plymouth's Zach Lorentz scores in the shootout.  Bottom - Carter Sandlak (not in photo) scores in the first period for the Whalers.

PLYMOUTH - The Plymouth Whalers battled Oshawa Generals – the top team in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference and third overall in the OHL – down to the last shot before 2,759 on Friday at Compuware Arena.

Oshawa (now 20-6-0-1) defeated Plymouth (11-15-0-2), 4-3, in a shootout.


MORE COVERAGE - Tim Smith, Plymouth Observer and Eccentric.

Josh Sterk decided to shootout, scoring the second Oshawa goal in the shootout.  Earlier, Scott Laughton – who started the season with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers – also scored in the shootout.  Plymouth’s Zach Lorentz was the only successful Whalers shooter against Oshawa goaltender Daniel Altshuller.

Earlier, Laughton (20th), Sterk (10th) and Mitchell Vande Sompel (first OHL goal) scored for Oshawa during regulation.  Plymouth head coach Mike Vellucci switched his lines around with good success.  First star Carter Sandlak figured in on all three Plymouth goals with a goal (16th) and two assists.  Zach Lorentz added a goal (11th) and an assist and Danny Vanderwiel scored his fourth of the year.

Sandlak scored the only goal of the first period, finishing off a good three-way passing play between his linemates Lorentz and Connor Chatham.  Plymouth led, 1-0 after one period.

The Oshawa power play - third in the OHL at 26.1 percent - got going in the second period and the Generals outshot Plymouth, 26-9.  Power play goals by Laughton (snap shot through traffic from the high slot) at 8:07 and Sterk at 16:18 (severe angle shot from the right goal line) sandwiched around Vanderwiel's hard working goal at 11:18 (took the puck hard to the net and had two cracks at it in the ensuing scrum) and the second period ended tied at 2-2.

Lorentz gave Plymouth a 3-2 lead at 3:22 of the third period on a power play, following up his own wrap-around to score on the second attempt.  But Vande Sompel scored his first OHL to tie the game for Oshawa at 10:21, skating down the left wing into the Plymouth zone, then followed up his own shot to score on the rebound just outside the Plymouth blue ice.

After a scoreless overtime in which the Whalers outshot Oshawa, 2-1, the game was decided in the shootout.  Sterk scored on Oshawa's last shot and Altshuller stopped Plymouth's Matt Mistele on the Whalers' final attempt.

Oshawa outshot Plymouth, 51-30, in the game.  Whalers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 47-of-50 shots as the game’s third star.

Plymouth plays in Owen Sound on Saturday at 7:30 pm (7:20 pm, www.plymouthwhalers.com).

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