Whalers Skate With Wolves Tonight at 7:05 pm
Photo - Plymouth's Garrett Meurs shoots on Sudbury goaltender Joel Vienneau last season at Compuware Arena in a 4-1 Plymouth victory over Sudbury. Photo by Rena Laverty.
WHALERS TONIGHT: Plymouth and Sudbury play in the first of two games this season.
BROADCAST: 6:45 pm, 88.1FM WSDP The Park and www.plymouthwhalers.com. The Schoolcraft College Sports Netowrk provides video streaming.
MEDIA PACKAGE: Click here for the OHL media package for tonight's game.
THE REST OF THE SERIES: Fri. Dec. 14 – Plymouth at Sudbury, 7:05 pm
LAST SEASON: Plymouth won both games against Sudbury last season:
Feb. 25 – (at) PLYMOUTH 4 (Noesen, Miller, Aleardi, Meurs), SUDBURY 1 (McFadden). See video highlights of the game.
Jan. 27 – PLYMOUTH 6 (Miller 2 GWG 4:02 OT, Bathgate, Heard, Schmitz, Aleardi) at SUDBURY 5 (Pancel 2, Schoenmakers, Schutt, Kuchin) – Overtime.
LAST GAME – Plymouth lost, 3-2 in a shootout, to Belleville last Saturday. Sudbury lost 5-0 to Saginaw Thursday night.
NEXT GAME: Plymouth plays in Guelph next Friday. Sudbury plays in Windsor on Sunday afternoon.
ALL-TIME: Plymouth holds a 29-13-2-0 edge in the all-time series with Sudbury.
WHALERS’ RYAN HARTMAN PLAYS IN CCM/USA PROSPECTS GAME: Plymouth rookie Ryan Hartman is out of the Whalers lineup tonight. He’ll be playing in the first annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at First Niagara Center in Buffalo,NY.
The game is an American version of theCHLHome Hardware Top ProspectsGame, played everyseason throughout the Canadian Hockey League. Hartman is eligible for the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft, to be held June 28-29, 2013 at Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Hartman – who celebrated his 18th birthday last Saturday against Belleville – has made a positive impression during his short time with the Whalers. He comes into this weekend with a goal and two assists in three games.
"He is Plymouth Whalers hockey,"Plymouth head coach Mike Vellucci told NHL.com. "He's exactly like what we like to draft, he's exactly how we like to play. We have a lot of those guys, with Willie [Wilson], [Stefan] Noesen and [Rickard] Rakell, those guys that are hockey players, they compete, they play hard, they go to the tough areas. They [play] aggressive, in-your-face hockey. I think he fits in perfectly with our system and our Plymouth Whaler hockey mentality."
Hartman can play center or wing and has found a home with the Whalers in the middle.
"It's hard to say [where his best position is], but the wing because he goes into the corners, he digs those pucks out, he likes that kind of play," Vellucci said. "But at center he's very responsible defensively. He is a smart hockey player. All those attributes you look for in a center, he has them. But he also has them as a winger. That's probably one of his biggest assets for us and for him going forward, is he can play the game any way you want it."
CONGRATULATIONS, GARY! Plymouth veteran Garrett Meurs is playing in his 200th career game tonight. Meurs – originally selected by Plymouth in the first round (13th overall) in the 2009 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection – comes into the game with 47 goals and 83 assists for 130 points in 199 games.
Meurs was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round (123rd overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
CONGRATULATIONS, BRIAN AND EVELYN: The Whalers have a new member of the Extended Family as Plymouth Assistant General Manager Brian Sommariva and his wife, Evelyn, celebrate the birth of their new son, Garrett Daniel. The Sommariva family is happy and healthy.
TALES FROM THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE LOCKOUT: The Whalers have seen several alumni currently locked out the National Hockey League return to skate with the team during practice. James Wisniewski and Jared Boll (both with Columbus) were here earlier this week and John Mitchell (Colorado) skated last week. James Neal (Pittsburgh) skated with Plymouth on Friday.
When the Whalers played in Sault Ste. Marie to open the season last week, Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley was skating alone at Essar Centre. Daley played with the Greyhounds from 1999-03. Like all locked out NHL players, Daley was looking for a way to stay sharp.