Whalers Season Ends in 6-3 Loss to Kitchener
Photo - Plymouth's JT Miller congratulates Kitchener captain Michael Catenacci after the Kitchener eliminated Plymouth, 6-3, on Tuesday at Compuware Arena.
PLYMOUTH - Veteran Tyler Randell - back in the lineup after serving a 10-game suspension - scored four goals to lead the Kitchener Rangers to a 6-3 victory over the Plymouth Whalers in an Ontario Hockey League playoff game played Tuesday before 2,478 at Compuware Arena.
Kitchener eliminates Plymouth in seven games and advances to the Western Conference Finals against the London Knights.
Besides Randell's four goals (3-4-5-6 of the playoffs), Kitchener also received goals from Eric Ming (2) and and empty net goal by Tobias Rieder (10). Matt Mistele had a goal (2) and assist for Plymouth, while Mitchell Heard (4) and Austin Levi (2) scored one each for the Whalers.
Plymouth returned leading scorer Stefan Noesen to the lineup and he helped tie the game at 1-1 in the first period after Randell gave Kitchener a 1-0 lead on the power play at 10:20 of the first period. Noesen found Mistele with a pass at the left circle in the Kitchener zone and Mistele beat Rangers goaltender John Gibson with the shot at 12:09.
Ming restored the Kitchener lead to 2-1 at 17:15 of the period, roofing a shot from the lower rim of the left circle past Plymouth goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
Kitchener led, 2-1, after one period of play.
The Whalers tied the game at 2-2 in the second period on the work of the forward line of Heard-JT Miller and Tom Wilson, who kept the play alive deep in the Kitchener zone and Heard scored at the right wing side of the goal to tie the game at 2:36.
But Kitchener broke the game open with a pair of Randell goals at 16:59 (re-direct of Ryan Murphy's shot from the left circle in front of the Plymouth goal) and 19:08 (cut across, right wing to left to score on a backhand).
The Rangers extended the lead to 5-2 at 4:23 of the third period when Randell deflected Cody Sol's shot from the left point.
Plymouth didn't quit. Austin Levi scored from the top of the left circle through traffic at 14:13 to cut the Kitchener lead to 5-3. Wedgewood was pulled a couple of times over the final two minutes, but Rieder scored on the empty net with 21 seconds left to ice the game.
Plymouth outshot Kitchener, 37-31.