Plymouth Whalers 4 vs. Kitchener Rangers 2
The Plymouth Whalers entered a hostile road environment and defeated the Kitchener Rangers 4-2 before 6,668 fans at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Monday night to earn the first round series win in seven games.
Scott Wedgewood was brilliant all series in goal for the Whalers and performed well in the deciding game making 37 saves including a few big stops in the dying minutes.
After a scoreless first period, the Whalers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period beginning with a Michael Whaley deflection at 9:21 of the middle frame. Robbie Czarnik fired a wrist shot home at 14:51 for his fourth goal of the series.
It was the Rangers' captain Gabriel Landeskog that rallied the home team in the third period when he slammed home a loose puck in the crease at 5:17 on the power play for his sixth goal of the playoffs. Jerry D'Amigo also tallied his sixth of the playoffs when his wrist shot from the top of the circle deflected off a Whalers defenceman at 14:01 to tie the score 2-2.
James Livingston ended the Rangers' comeback with the game-winner at 16:56. In what appeared to be a harmless rush, Livingston cut across the middle of the ice inside the blueline and put a low wrister just out of the reach of Rangers netminder Mike Morrison who made 30 saves in the loss.
Tyler Brown found the empty cage with just two seconds to play recording his 10th point of the series for Plymouth.
The Whalers advance to the second round where they will face the Owen Sound Attack beginning Thursday night at 7:00 pm in a game that can be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet.
The second seed in the Western Conference the Saginaw Spirit await the winner between the Windsor Spitfires and Erie Otters who will play their Game seven finale Tuesday night at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.