Gianluca Curcuruto’s second power play goal of the game with 13 seconds left in regulation snapped a 3-3 tie and the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Owen Sound Attack, 4-3, in an Ontario Hockey League game played Friday before 2,804 at Compuware Arena.
The Whalers have won four out of their last five games and improve to 18-12-5-3, good 44 points and sole possession of second place in the OHL’s West Division. Plymouth is three points behind Sarnia (22-13-0-3, 47 points), who defeated Windsor, 8-5, on Friday.
Beside Curcuruto’s pair (second and third of the season), Plymouth received goals from Matt Mistele (17th) and Cody Payne (10th).
Plymouth built a 3-0 lead after two periods, but Owen Sound rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with three goals in the third period in a span of 2:04. Kyle Hope scored twice (eighth and ninth of the year) at 10:39 and 11:50 respectively and Gemel Smith tied the game with his 16th of the year at 12:43.
The game was tied at 3-3 into the final minute of play when Attack center Daniel Catenacci was whistled off for high sticking at 19:03. Plymouth scored at 19:26 on Tom Wilson’s re-direct in front of the Owen Sound net, but referees Joe Celestin and Ben Wilson waved off the goal, ruling the Owen Sound net was off its moorings.
Given a second chance, the Whalers made no mistake. Alex Aleardi worked out of the left wing boards in Attack territory and found Curcuruto at the right point, who scored on a rising shot.
Owen Sound head coach Greg Ireland called a timeout with 12.9 seconds left, but the Attack could get no closer.
Owen Sound outshot Plymouth, 29-26.
Plymouth remains home on Saturday, hosting Guelph at 7:05 p.m. at Compuware Arena.