Whalers Specialize in 3-0 Win Over Windsor in Wyandotte
Plymouth and Windsor play Monday at 2 pm at Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.
WYANDOTTE - Lee Shifflett was a busy man on Saturday.
"We're looking for a Canadian flag," he said eight hours before the Whalers played the Windsor Spitfires at Yack Arena in Wyandotte.
Shifflet and his staff with the Wyandotte Warrors Hockey Association found a Canadian flag and hung it proudly with the American flag in time for the National Anthems.
After Shifflett and the everyone at Yack Arena did an excellent job in setting the stage for the "Duel Downriver", the Whalers and Spitfires did their part in a 3-0 Plymouth victory before a near-sellout crowd of 850 at Yack Arena.
Plymouth and Windsor have played many emotionally charged games over 23 years. Maybe Saturday's game didn't mean a lot in the standings, but the Whalers and Spits put on excellent show in the opening preseason game for each team.
Both teams iced a young lineup with no injured scratches. Whaler pups Alex Peters, Zach Bratina, Ryan Hartman, Connor Sills, Steve Duda and Riley Corbin all made the OHL debuts, while veteran defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto played his first game for Plymouth. All newcomers played well and did not look out of place.
Plymouth scratches included National Hockey League Drafts Tom Wilson (Washington), Stefan Noesen (Ottawa), Mitchell Heard (Colorado), Simon Karlsson (Nashville) and Connor Carrick (Washington), along with veteran defenseman Colin MacDonald and rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
Windsor scratches included NHL Drafts Partick Sieloff (Calgary), Michael Clarke (Colorado) and Nick Ebert (Los Angeles), along with goaltender Jaroslav Pavelka, and Stephen Alonge, Jeff Brathwaite, Kerby Rychel, Vladimir Ionin, Saverio Posa, Graeme Brown, and Chris Marchese.
Meanwhile, the Whalers received mid-season goaltending from Matt Mahalak and Riley Corbin and good special teams play en route to the victory.
Cody Payne, Curtis Crombeen and Rickard Rakell scored the Plymouth goals while Matt Mistele and Alex Aleardi added a pair of assists each. The Plymouth penalty killers went six-for-six in the victory.
Payne opened the scored at 2:16 of the first period, accepting Mistele's pass from the right circle in the Windsor zone and snapping a shot from the left hashmark.
Mahalak, Corbin and the penalty killers made the 1-0 lead stand until the third period when Plymouth scored a pair of power play goals.
Curtis Crombeen slapped a shot from the slot for a powerplay goal at 8:04 of the third to make the score 2-0. JT Miller & Alex Aleardi added assists.
Plymouth took a 3-0 lead 14:21 on a powerply goal by Rakell (one-timer from the left circle) from Mistele to complete the scoring.
Plymouth and Windsor meet again Monday at 2pm at Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.