Plymouth scored 10 goals on 39 shots against 2009 draft pick Adam Wood, who was recalled from the Clarington Eagles’ Junior C club Wednesday, in the Whalers’ 10-6 win at Tullio Arena.
The Otters (10-47-3-3) entered the game off a 13-4 loss at Niagara Sunday, which saw forward Connor Crisp allow 13 goals on 45 shots as the emergency goaltender in place of injured Ramis Sadikov.
That prompted the Otters to bring in Wood and J.P. Cesario, who was an emergency loan from Owen Sound. The West Division-leading Whalers (44-17-2-1) capitalized on Erie’s struggles in net.
Mitchell Heard and Austin Levi led the way with two goals and an assist apiece. Tom Wilson, Stefan Noesen and Garrett Meurs had a goal and assist apiece for the Whalers.
Stephen Harper had his first OHL hat trick for the Otters. Sondre Olden had a goal and two assists while Luke Cairns had a goal and assist. Erie began the night with an injured list that included goaltenders Sadikov and Devin Williams, defensemen Jimmy McDowell and Nathan Glass and forward Nick Betz. Crisp, who made his season debut Sunday against Niagara as the emergency goaltender, also was scratched.
They also were short two skaters. Then rookie defenseman Travis Wood was injured in the first period on a high hit from from the Whalers’ Wilson. Wood was taken off the ice wearing a neck brace and on a stretcher and was taken a local hospital. No official word from the Otters after the game on Wood’s condition.
Yet the Otters built a 3-1 lead less than eight minutes into the game.
Cairns opening the scoring 4:27 into the game on assists from Dane Fox and Adam Pelech. Plymouth tied the score on Heard’s goal 46 seconds later. But Kris Grant scored at the 6:47 mark, followed by Harper’s goal 1:01 later to hand the Otters a two-goal lead.
Yet Heard’s second goal of the period, scored with 53 seconds left in the first, sparked a barrage of six consecutive goals that propelled the Whalers to a 7-3 lead. Plymouth scored the final five goals of that decisive stretch in the opening 10:25 of the second period. Cody Payne ended the second with Plymouth’s second short-handed goal for an 8-4. He scored 1:28 after Harper scored during a 5-on-3 opportunity.
At the 5:03 mark of the third, Harper scored his 24th goal of the season to complete his first career hat trick and move the Otters within 8-5. But Levi and J.T. Miller scored 1:08 apart to build a 10-5 Whalers’ lead. Olden’s goal capped the high-scoring game.
- Victor Fernandes
Whalers 10, Otters 6
Plymouth 2 6 2 — 10
Erie 3 1 2 — 6
1st Period — 1. Erie, Luke Cairns 14 (Fox, Pelech), 4:27. 2. Plymouth, Mitchell Heard 27 (Meurs, Jones), 5:13. 3. Erie, Kris Grant 3 (Brown, Cairns), 6:47. 4. Erie, Stephen Harper 22 (Olden), 7:48. 5. Plymouth, Heard 28 (unassisted), 19:07. Penalties — Payne (P) interference, 10:37; McGuire (E) instigator, 12:59; McGuire (E) 5-min. fighting, 12:59; Wilson (P) 5-min. fighting, 12:59; McGuire (E) 10-min. misconduct, 12:59; McGuire (E) game misconduct, 12:59; Fox (E) 5-min. fighting, 16:53; Miller (P) 5-min. fighting, 16:53.
2nd Period — 6. Plymouth, Stefan Noesen 34 (Rakell, Wilson), :20. 7. Plymouth, Austin Levi 4 (Noesen, Rakell), 3:35. 8. Plymouth, Alex Aleardi 33 (unassisted), 5:27 (sh). 9. Plymouth, Garrett Meurs 20 (Heard), 6:59. 10. Plymouth, Tom Wilson 8 (unassisted), 10:25. 11. Erie, Harper 23 (Pelech, McCarthy), 17:28 (pp). 12. Plymouth, Cody Payne 5 (Devane), 18:56 (sh). Penalties — Fox (E) 10-min. misconduct, 3:35; Devane (P) high sticking, 4:30; Meurs (P) high sticking, 10:39; Whaley (P) holding, 16:26; Trutmann (P) tripping, 17:20.
3rd Period — 13. Erie, Harper 24 (Olden), 5:03. 14. Plymouth, Levi 5 (Whaley), 10:51. 15. Plymouth, J.T. Miller 24 (Whaley, Levi), 11:59. 16. Erie, Sondre Olden 11 (Evans, Harper), 16:40. Penalties — Jones (P) interference, 2:51; Fox (E) 5-min. fighting, 6:50; Jones (P) 5-min. fighting, 6:50; Malysa (P) slashing, 13:27.
Shots on goal — Plymouth, 10-15-14—39; Erie, 10-6-11—27.
Goaltenders — Plymouth, Matt Mahalak (7 shots, 4 saves), Scott Wedgewood 25-9-2-1 (21 shots, 18 saves); Erie, Adam Wood 0-1-0-0 (39 shots, 29 saves).
Power plays — Plymouth (0-1), Erie (1-7).
Referees — Joe Park, Pat Myers. Linesmen — Ryan Holmstead, Ray King.
Attendance — 2,256.
* Austin Levi, Whalers (2 goals, assist) ** Stephen Harper, Otters (3 goals, assist) *** Mitchell Heard, Whalers (2 goals, assist)