Miller Time - Whalers Eliminate Guelph in Overtime
GUELPH - JT Miller's goal at 5:58 of overtime snapped a 1-1 tie and the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Guelph Storm, 2-1 in overtime, to eliminate the Storm in six games in an Ontario Hockey League Western Conference quarterfinal series.
2,624 watched the game at Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
Plymouth advances to play Kitchener in the Western Conference semifinals, with the first game set for Friday at 7:05 pm at Compuware Arena. The dates for the rest of the Plymouth-Kitchener series will be announced later on Monday.
Miller's game-winning goal came after Guelph goaltender Garret Sparks made a save on Dario Trutmann's shot from the high slot. But Sparks allowed a rebound and Miller snapped home the loose puck from just outside the blue ice.
"The puck was just laying there," Miller said of his game-winning goal.
After being blown out, 9-3, by Plymouth in Game 5 on Saturday, Guelph played well in Game 6. The game turned out the be a goaltending battle between first-star Sparks and Plymouth goaltender and second-star Scott Wedgewood. Wedgewood - who owns a .929 career save percentage in the playoffs - turned in his best game of the series.
After a scoreless first period, Plymouth's power play - which leads the playoffs with a 38.7 percent success ratio - clicked again to give the Whalers a 1-0 lead at 10:06 of the second period. Austin Levi - stationed at the high slot in the Guelph zone - snapped a shot from the high slot and Tom Wilson (taking a ton of abuse in front) got a piece of the puck to tip it by Sparks for his third goal of the playoffs. The goal was originally credited to Levi and later changed to Wilson.
Audio: Listen to the Wilson goal.
Plymouth led, 1-0, after forty minutes.
Guelph tied the game at 1-1 at 4:03 of the third period on Jason Dickinson's third goal of the playoffs. Zack Mitchell jammed the puck through traffic on a wrap around on the left wing side of the goal towards Wedgewood. Dickinson retrieved the puck through traffic and scored on the right side of the goal.
The game was hard fought and evenly played through sixty minutes with Guelph having a 31-30 edge. Not much changed in overtime until Miller decided the game.
The shots were even at 36 aside.
Plymouth and Guelph have played eight times in the OHL playoffs since 1991, with Plymouth taking five series and Guelph three. Plymouth is 22-13 in 35 overtimes in franchise playoff history.