Noesen's Late Goal Gives Whalers a 4-3 Win Over Ottawa
PLYMOUTH - Stefan Noesen's power play goal at 16:13 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Ottawa 67's, 4-3, Friday night before 3,002 at Compuware Arena.
With the victory, the Whalers (now 32-21-1-4, 69 points), remain in a tie for fifth place with London (now 32-22-4-1, 69 points) in the Western Conference race. The Knights beat Owen Sound, 4-3, tonight. Plymouth and London stay two points behind fourth place Windsor (now 33-21-2-3, 71 points). The Spitfires defeated Sault Ste. Marie, 4-2, tonight. The Erie Otters (now 32-26-1-1, 66 points) - in seventh place - lost, 6-5, to Peterborough tonight.
“We got a 5-on-3 (power play), which is what we wanted all night and we made it count," Noesen said of his game-winning goal. "Rickard (Rakell) made a great play down low and passed to me. I gave it to Czarnik and called back for it. I let it go and suprisingly, it went upstairs.”
Besides Noesen's 29th goal of the year, Tyler Brown scored his 24th, while Beau Schmitz (4th), and Austin Levi (4th) scored one apiece for Plymouth. Thomas Nesbitt (29), Tyler Toffoli (50), and Cody Ceci (6) scored for Ottawa.
The Whalers broke open a scoreless game with a pair of goals late in the first period 1:53 apart. After an evenly played first 17 minutes, Plymouth went to work on the game's first power play to take a 1-0 lead at 18:02 of the period. Noesen - stationed on the left wing in the Ottawa zone - found Brown in the high slot and his shot beat Ottawa goaltender Shayne Campbell, who appeared to be screened on the shot by his own defenseman.
Plymouth took a 2-0 lead with just five seconds left in the period on a scramble in front of Campbell, started by the line of Mitchell Heard, James Livingston, and Jamie Devane. The puck squirted to the left wing side of the goal to Schmitz and he batted the puck into the net.
Ottawa came right back to tie early in the second period with two goals in a span of 34 seconds. Nesbitt converted a three-on-two rush, scoring from the right circle past Plymouth goaltender Matt Mahalak at 36 seconds into the period. The 67's tied the game on a power play at 1:10 when Toffoli deflected Cody Ceci's shot from the point from the hashmarks for his 50th goal of the season - the 12th Ottawa player to score at least 50 goals in a season since the 1975-76 season. A 67's player has scored at least 50 goals in a season 15 times since 1975-76.
The second period ended at 2-2.
Plymouth regained the lead in the third period on a power play. The Whalers kept the play alive in the Ottawa zone for an extended period and Levi scored from the left point at 5:44 with a shot that landed just inside the far post.
Ottawa then received a continual power play for nearly seven minutes with Plymouth penalties to Czarnik at 6:37, Livingston at 7:28, Levi at 9:39, and Colin MacDonald at 11:35. Ceci tied the game on a 5-of-3 power play with a hard shot from the high slot that Whalers defenseman Colin MacDonald got a piece of, but the puck went past Mahalak to tie the game.
Referees Dave Gauthier and Ryan Hutchison then whistled Ottawa's Cody Lindsay off for interference at 14:57 and Nesbitt off for tripping at 15:39, giving the Whalers a five-on-three power play of their own. Noesen wired the shot from the left circle to give the Whalers the lead again.
Looking for the equalizer, Ottawa head coach Chris Byrne called a timeout with 24.1 seconds left and a faceoff in the Plymouth zone, but the Whalers were able to take the rest of the time off the clock.
Plymouth remains home Saturday night at 7:05pm at Compuware Arena in a showdown with London (6:45pm, 88.1FM WSDP).