Whalers Fall in Overtime in the Soo
Photo - Sault Ste. Marie's Brandon Alderson (right, white jersey) checks Plymouth's Ryan Hartman Friday night at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. Photo courtesy of Rachele Labrecque/Sault Star.
SAULT STE. MARIE - In a game that tested the Whalers special teams early and often, the Whalers dropped a thriller in overtime to the home Greyhounds. Plymouth fell behind early, but scored five unanswered goals before the Hounds clawed back to snatch the win in overtime, 6-5
Bradon Alderson's second goal of the game at 0:22 of extra time proved to be the game-winner.
The Whalers spotted the Soo a 3-0 lead into the second period before coming back to tie the game with three goals in the second period. Plymouth took a 5-3 lead in the third period, but the Soo came back to tie the game at 5-5 after sixth minutes.
Matt Mahalak was in net for Plymouth, as Pittsburgh Penguins draftee Matt Murray received the nod for the Soo.
Sergei Tolchinsky opened the scoring by deflecting a David Broll shot past Matt Mahalak glove side at the 7:45 mark of the first period. Nick Cousins also added an assist.
Later in the first, overage forward Brandon Alderson sped past the Whalers defense and scored a shorthanded goal through Matt Mahalak's five-hole at 14:47. Ryan Sproul chipped in with an assist.
The string of Greyhounds goals continued as Dylan Staples backhanded the puck past Matt Mahalak in front of the net to put the Soo up 3-0 at 6:08 of the second period.
The Whalers quickly turned it around however, as Cody Payne banged home a rebound from a Danny Vanderwiel shot at 6:26 just sixteen seconds after the Staples goal. Former Hound Gianluca Curcuruto contributed the other assist.
The Soo seemed to reclaim some momentum as they went on the powerplay after a Rickard Rakell penalty for roughing goaltender Matt Murray behind the net. During the penalty kill Ryan Hartman brought the puck into the zone and passed to Alex Aleardi, who put it past Murray high-gloveside for a shorthanded goal at 8:36 of the second period.
Connor Carrick tied the game up at 3-3 at 12:24 just minutes later as he pinched in towards the net and received a Ryan Hartman pass and finished it five-hole. Matt Mistele also contributed an assist on the play.
Matt Mistele added another helper in the third period as Garrett Meurs scored the go-ahead goal at 6:59 of the third period to make it 4-3. Meurs took a shot from the left circle that went off the glove-side post and past Murray.
Plymouth was unable to hold the lead however, as Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul fired a shot from the point past Matt Mahalak to cut the deficit to 5-4 at 9:31 of the third period. Darnell Nurse and David Broll had the assists.
Then at 18:39 of the third period Greyhounds rookie Jared McCann tied it up after a nice play from former Whalers first round pick Mitchell Dempsey.
Just 22 seconds into overtime Brandon Alderson scored his second of the game from Andrew Fritsch and Darnell Nurse to give the Greyhounds the victory.
Matt Mahalak stopped 26 of 32 shots for the loss, as winning goaltender Matt Murray stopped 37 of 42 shots.
Whalers scratches were goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, defenseman Steve Duda and Simon Karlsson, and forwards Michael Whaley, Mitchell Heard & JT Miller. Both Heard and Miller are currently at their respective AHL training camps.
MORE COVERAGE: Peter Ruicci, Sault Star.
The Whalers return to action Saturday at Compuware Arena as they face the Belleville Bulls at 7:05pm. Tickets are still available and can be puchard at plymouthwhalers.com, or by calling the Box Office at (734) 453-8400.
The Bulls defeated the Sarnia Sting 3-1 in their season opener, and sport two 2012 NHL first round picks in goaltender Malcolm Subban (Boston Bruins) and forward Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver Canucks).
To listen to tomorrow night's game, tune in to the 88.1 WSDP The Park or listen online at plymouthwhalers.com.