Whalers Host Belleville Tonight at 7:05 pm
Photo - Plymouth's Stefan Noesen battles Belleville's Brendan Gaunce last season at Compuware Arena. Photo by Rena Laverty.
WHALERS TONIGHT: Plymouth and Belleville play in the first of two games this season at 7:05 pm, Compuware Arena.
BROADCAST: 6:45 pm, 88.1FM WSDP The Park and www.plymouthwhalers.com. Schoolcraft College Sports Netowrk provides video streaming.
MEDIA PACKAGE: Click here for tonight's media package.
THE REST OF THE SERIES: Sat. Nov. 17 – Plymouth at Belleville, 7:05 pm
LAST SEASON: Plymouth and Belleville split two games.
Dec. 17 – (at) BELLEVILLE 5 (Brassard, Zharkov, Corson, Payerl, Austin), PLYMOUTH 1 (Vanderwiel).
LAST GAME – Plymouth lost, 6-5 in overtime, last night in Sault Ste. Marie. Belleville won, 3-1, in Sarnia last night.
NEXT GAME: Plymouth hosts Sudbury next Saturday. Belleville plays next Friday in Brampton.
ALL-TIME: Plymouth holds a 22-20-1-1 edge in the all-time series with Belleville.
CMac WEARS THE ‘C’ – Whalers defenseman Colin MacDonald was named captain of the Whalers for 2012-13. Defenseman Connor Carrick and wingers Stefan Noesen and Tom Wilson will wear the ‘A’’s as Associate Captains.
MacDonald was originally selected by Plymouth in the 14th round (270th overall) of the 2008 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. A native of London, ON, MacDonald has improved steadily every season and enjoyed a +22 season last year in 54 games. MacDonald has scored three goals with 32 assists for 35 points and is +44 over 178 games in his career with the Whalers.
MacDonald is the 21st captain in the Whalers 23-year history. The other Plymouth captains include Beau Schmitz (2010-12), AJ Jenks (2009-10), Chris Terry (2008-09), Andrew Fournier (2007-08), Steve Ward (2006-07), John Vigilante (2005-06), Tim Sestito and John Mitchell (co-captains in 2004-05), James Wisniewski (2003-04), Nate Kiser (2002-03), Jared Newman (2000-02), Randy Fitzgerald (1998-00), Andrew Taylor (1997-98), Mike Morrone (1996-97), Bryan Berard (1995-96), Jamie Allison (1994-95), Todd Harvey (1993-94), Pat Peake (1992-93, plus the second half of 1991-92), Mark Lawrence (first half of the 1991-92 season) and Paul Mitton (1990-91).
GOOD REASON TO FOLLOW THE WHALERS: Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports Junior Hockey recently profiled 10 Canadian Hockey League teams who could benefit from the national Hockey League lockout. One of the team is the Plymouth Whalers. Sager writes:
Plymouth Whalers (OHL) — Like a certain NHL team in the Detroit area, the Whalers never, ever seem to miss the playoffs. Long-time coach and general manager Mike Vellucci mints competitive teams season after season. But the Whalers sometimes to seem to struggle to get traction in a competitive mid-Michigan sports market which has offers every form of high-level hockey. Now is the time. Four Whalers — the Ottawa Senators' Stefan Noesen, New York Rangers' J.T. Miller, Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson and Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell — are NHL first-rounders. That means the Whalers will be so hosed if NHL camps open while junior hockey is in full swing, so there's the empathy card.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE WATCHES THE FIGHT GAME: The OHL will target one-dimensional players who do nothing else, really, than fight. Any player who garners an 11th fighting major during the season will incur an automatic two-game suspension, as the OHL has created a threshold system to discourage serial fighters.
A player can have up to 10 fights — altercations where the other player receives an instigator penalty do not count against the total — without directly being suspended for it. Starting with his 11th fight, it's an automatic two-game suspension each time. Starting with his 16th, the player's team will be fined $1,000 each time. (The 'instigator exception' applies throughout.)
Thirty-one players in the 20-team OHL reached double-digits in fighting majors last season. Only five had 16 or more fights. Only Windsor's Ty Bilcke (37 fighting majors), Erie's Johnny McGuire (23) and Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Derek Mathers (22) of the Peterborough Petes threw down more than 20 times.
Nick Malysa and Mitchell Heard led the Whalers last season with 12 majors.