Scott Sabourin’s second goal of the game at 15:37 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and the Oshawa Generals came from behind to defeat the Plymouth Whalers, 4-3, in an Ontario Hockey League game played Saturday night before 2,658 at Compuware Arena.
The play was set up by Scott Laughton's rush on the left wing into the Plymouth zone. He skated behind the Plymouth net and found Sabourin parked just outside the blue ice on the left side of the Whalers goal.
Plymouth remains in second place in the OHL West with a record of 14-9-4-3, two points behind first place Sarnia. Oshawa improves to 17-11-1-2 and is in second place in the OHL’s East Division.
Besides Sabourin’s pair, Cole Cassels (6) and Sebastian Uvira (3) scored for Oshawa and third star Scott Laughton added a couple of assists. Oshawa goaltender Daniel Altshuller stopped 34-of-37 shots for the victory.
Stefan Noesen (17), Rickard Rakell (13) and Tom Wilson (7) scored for Plymouth and second star Matt Mistele earned two assists. Plymouth goaltender Matt Mahalak stopped 33-of-37 shots.
After Sabourin scored on a back hand on Oshawa's first shot at 4:45 of the first period, Noesen replied to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:02 of the period on a delayed Generals penalty. Noesen followed the puck to the slot and scored on a backhand, five-hole, past Altshuller.
Later in the first period, Noesen was assessed a five-minute charging major, a game misconduct and was lost for the rest of the game after hitting Oshawa's Tyler Hore at 18:04 of the first period.
But the Whalers - already shorthanded with injuries to Colin MacDonald and Curtis Crombeen and missing Gianluca Curcuruto (flu) - dug in and killed off the five-minute major.
Penalties in the second period to Plymouth's Connor Carrick at 8:05 and Alex Peters at 8:44 gave the Generals a two-man advantage and they cashed in to take a 2-1 lead on Cassels' low shot through traffic from the hashmarks.
But the Whalers fought back to take the lead. Rakell - who was robbed by Altshuller a few moments earlier - tied the game at 2-2 at 15:42, scored on a shot from the right circle, set up by Austin Levi and Matt Mistele. Mistele and Levi combined on the Whalers' lead goal at 19:28 when Levi carried the puck behind the Oshawa goal and found Mistele jousting for position at the hashmarks. Mistele couldn't get his stick on the puck, but instead kicked it to Wilson, who scored on the left side of the Oshawa goal.
Plymouth led, 3-2, after forty minutes.
Uvira scored for Oshawa to tie the game at 3-3 at 6:20 of thid period, but Sabourin caused the goal, screening Mahalak effectively while Uvira held the puck to the right circle before shooting. Mahalak never moved and the game was tied.
That set the stage for Sabourin's game-winner.
The shots were even at 37 aside.
The Whalers hit the road all of next week, playing in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday (6:45 p.m., 88.1 FM WSDP), Sudbury on Friday (7:20 p.m., 88.1 FM WSDP) and next Saturday in Barrie (7:15 p.m., 88.1 FM WSDP) before breaking for the Christmas holidays.
Plymouth’s next home game is Thurs. Dec 27 at 2 p.m. at Compuware Arena against Saginaw.