Rakell scores winner, Nedeljkovic 61 saves as Whalers even series in double OT

Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 6:34 PM The Canadian Press

LONDON, Ont. - Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 61-of-64 shots as the Plymouth Whalers defeated the host London Knights 4-3 in double overtime on Sunday in Ontario Hockey League playoff action.

The rookie goaltender, whose previous career-high for shots against in a playoff game was 33, stopped 26 alone in extra time as Plymouth evened the best-of-seven Western Conference final 1-1.

Rickard Rakell scored the winning goal at 10:16 of the second overtime period for the Whalers, who trailed the game on three different occasions, while Tom Wilson supplied the rest of the offence.

Wilson scored three times for Plymouth, giving the power forward six goals in nine post-season games, while Giancula Curcuruto chipped in with three assists.

Chris Tierney, Bo Horvat and Max Domi scored for the Knights, who suffered their first home-ice defeat in seven post-season games, and Anthony Stolarz made 41 saves.

London let three one-goal leads slip away before eventually losing in extra time.

Horvat opened the scoring for the Knights 11:35 into the first period, giving his club the lead heading into first intermission, however Wilson responded at 7:38 of the second.

Tierney made it 2-1 London while Plymouth's Vincent Trocheck was in the box serving a minor for hooking less than four minutes later, but Wilson came through with a power-play goal early in the third to even the score yet again.

Domi put the Knights ahead for a third time while Whalers' forward Garret Meurs was serving a minor for bumping into Stolarz in his crease.

Domi's goal looked to be enough to put London up two games in the series but, with a sixth attacker on the ice, Wilson completed his hat trick and forced overtime with only 28 seconds left in regulation.

Rakell scored the winner 36 seconds after London's Alex Broadhurst was sent off for hooking.

Plymouth went 2 for 5 on the power play while London scored twice on 10 chances with the man advantage.

Trocheck, who is the playoff scoring leader with 21 points in 12 contests, failed to pick up a point for the second game in a row. It's the first time in 40 appearances with the Whalers that he has been held pointless in back-to-back games.

The Whalers will host Game 3 Tuesday at Compuware Arena.

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