They pulled it off! The Plymouth Whalers season will continue for at least one more game and the Memorial Cup tournament just got a lot more interesting.
With the victory, Plymouth is now guaranteed at least a date with Medicine Hat or Lewiston for the tie-breaker game that is scheduled for Thursday evening at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
The opponent will be determined with Wednesday's round-robin finale between Vancouver and Medicine Hat. A Vancouver victory would catapulte the Giants into Sunday's Memorial Cup Final and set a the tie-breaker game up as a Tiger vs. Whalers contest with the winner going on to face the Maineiacs in the semis on Friday. A Tigers victory in tomorrow nights tilt will set the tie-breaker game up as a Maineiacs vs. Whalers re-match with the winner going on to face the Giants in Friday's semi and the Tigers would be granted the pass to Sunday's final.
Make any sense?
Whalers Goal -Fournier (Sestito, McGinnis),
Late Third Period...
Maineiacs Goal - Courcelles, Simon (Perron)
Whalers Goal- Brophey, Evan (Brophey, Evan)
Plymouth: Fate Is In Your Own Hands
Tonight the highly touted Plymouth Whalers of OHL Championship fame face elimination from the Memorial Cup Tournament. Entering the tournament with a line-up that included great goaltending, impressive size and a ton of offence the Whalers have struggled against the aggresive forecheck and solid defensive play that comes from the WHL teams.
Both Vancouver and Medicine Hat were able to exploite the weaknesses of the Whalers line-up. Vancouver matched the physical play that was dictated by the sizable Plymouth line-up and the Tigers were far too quick for the not so fleet-of-foot Whalers defense core.
It also seemed that both Vancouver and Medicine Hat were able to get the Whalers focus turned away from the hockey game as in both games I noticed the lack of success got to the Plymouth players which lead to some rather undisciplined play.
The game against Vancouver was a close one with the Giants needing overtime to complete their task while the Tigers really took it to Plymouth by scoring a couple of goals in the early going of the game.
Eliminating the Whalers early offensive attack appears to not be too difficult for the WHL's elite. The trick? Attack offensive with offense! Both Vancouver and Medicine Hat were able to outshoot the OHL Champions in the first period by 14-8 and 14-9 margins respectively.
With the three game round robin format the Whalers face a must win game this evening against Lewiston. The winner of Wednesday's Vancouver vs. Medicine Hat game will win the first seed in the standings thus be granted a bye into Sunday's final. The semi-final will be played on Friday between the loser of Wednesday's tilt and the third place team which is currently Lewiston.
A victory by Plymouth this evening would guarantee a 'Tie-Breaking Game' on Thursday evening. Plymouth would then be faced with the daunting task of winning three games in four days in order to become the 2007 Memorial Cup Champions. Yikes...
Memorial Cup Standings
Vancouver GP 2 W 2 L 0 T 0 OTL 0 PTS 4
Lewiston GP 2 W 1 L 1 T 0 OTL 0 PTS 2
Medicine Hat GP 2 W 1 L 1 T 0 OTL 0 PTS 2
Plymouth GP 2 W 0 L 3 T 0 OTL 0 PTS 0