Whalers Gain a Share of First Place With 3-2 Win in Sarnia
Photo - From left, Plymouth's Alex Aleardi, Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk and Plymouth's Matt Mistele battle Friday night in Sarnia. Photo courtesy of Metcalfe Photography.
SARNIA - Garrett Meurs' goal at 11:30 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Sarnia Sting, 3-2, before 3,038 Friday night at RBC Centre in Sarnia.
Meurs snapped home a rebound in front of the Sarnia goal after Sting goaltender JP Anderson made a save on Rickard Rakell's shot from the lower rim of the right circle. Listen to Terry Doyle of OHL tonight chat with Garrett Meurs following the win.
AUDIO: Listen to Meurs' goal.
The victory moves Plymouth (now 8-4-2-1, 19 points) into a share of first place of the West Division with Windsor (now 8-7-0-3, 19 points). The Spitfires lost on Friday, 5-1, in Kitchener. Sault Ste Marie (now 9-8-0-0, 18 points) is a point behind Plymouth and Windsor after losing, 6-1, at home to Ottawa. Sarnia (now 8-7-0-1, 17 points) is two points behind Plymouth and Windsor in the tightly packed West Division race.
Alex Aleardi (fifth) and Ryan Hartman (fifth) scored first period goals for Plymouth, who never trailed in the game. Goaltender Matt Mahalak stopped 32-of-34 shots to record his seventh victory of the year for the Whalers.
Justice Dundas (fourth) and Nick Latta (fifth) replied in the second period for Sarnia.
A good forecheck powered the Whalers to their 2-0 lead in the first period. Aleardi scored at 9:21 of the first period to give the Whalers a 1-0 lead, redirecting Connor Carrick's point shot under the cross bar. At first glace, the goal looked like Carrick's all the way, but replay showed Aleardi got a piece of the puck.
AUDIO: Listen to Aleardi goal.
Plymouth struck again to lead 2-0 at 13:23. Matt Mistele wired a hard shot from the left wing that appeared to carom off Anderson's mask. The rebound laid outside the blue ice and Hartman pounced on the puck to score.
AUDIO: Listen to the Hartman goal.
Sarnia came back to tie the game in the second period, getting goals from Dundas (left circle at 2:14) and Latta (one-timer from the hasmarks at 6:53).
The game featured the Whalers' league-leading penalty killing team versus Sarnia's league leading power play. Plymouth killed off both Sting power plays while keeping Sarnia's top scoring line of Alex Galchenyuk, Reid Boucher and Charles Sarault off the scoresheet and in check most of the night
After Meurs scored, Sting head coach Jacques Beaulieu pulled Anderson for the extra attacker, but Sarnia could not find the equalizer.
Sarnia outshot Plymouth, 34-25.
Plymouth and Sarnia meet Saturday night at 7:05 pm at Compuware Arena (6:45 pm, 88.1FM WSDP and www.plymouthwhalers.com). Ticket's for Mascot Madness, sponsored by MyCouponGenie.com, are still available and can be purchased at plymouthwhalers.com/buytickets, or by calling the Box Office at (734) 453-6400.