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Stanley Cup Final

Nedeljkovic earns first OHL shutout as Whalers extend win streak to eight games

Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 11:24 PM / News

The Canadian Press

Alex Nedeljkovic earned his first Ontario Hockey League shutout as the Plymouth Whalers blanked the visiting Sarnia Sting 4-0 on Saturday.

The 16-year-old rookie made 20 saves and improved his record to 13-1-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist for the Whalers (34-16-9), who extended their season-high win streak to eight games, while Tom Wilson, Mitchell Heard and Stefan Noesen rounded out the scoring.

Rakell's two-point outing extended his point streak to four games and includes six goals and four assists.

Vincent Trocheck had a single assist for Plymouth and has 15 goals and 26 points in his last 12 games. Since being acquired from the Saginaw Spirit in January, Trocheck has picked up a point in 18 of 19 games and has 39 points in a Whalers uniform.

After producing 18 points on Friday in a 13-3 victory against the Erie Otters, the Sting's (33-24-3) top line of Charles Sarault, Reid Boucher and Nikolay Godobin were held pointless and went a combined minus-4.

Sarnia's starting goaltender JP Anderson got the night off as backup Knicholas Dawe made 33 saves in a losing cause.

Neither club could produce with the power play as the Whalers went 0 for 3 and the Sting 0 for 5.

The victory gives Plymouth an eight-point lead over Sarnia atop the West Division standings.

Elsewhere in the OHL, it was: Kitchener 3, Sudbury 2; Niagara 4, Kingston 1; Belleville 5, Peterborough 2; Barrie 2, Guelph 0 and Owen Sound 6, Saginaw 2.

At Plymouth, Mich., Wilson opened the scoring for the Whalers at 13:19 of the first period.

Rakell doubled his club's lead at 5:27 of the second period and Heard made it 3-0 less than a minute into the third period.

Noesen added Plymouth's fourth goal at 5:38, which eventually led to a Sarnia timeout at 7:42.

The Sting had two power-play chances late in the third period, however they could only produce seven shots in the final 20 minutes and found themselves shut out for the third time this season.

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Rangers 3 Wolves 2

At Kitchener, Ont., Tobias Rieder had a goal and an assist and Joel Vienneau made 23 saves as the Rangers (33-19-5) jumped out to three-goal lead and held on to defeat Sudbury (26-22-11).

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IceDogs 4 Frontenacs 1

At St. Catharines, Ont., Chris Festarini made 34 saves and Brett Ritchie scored twice as the IceDogs (27-29-4) halted their four-game slide by beating Kingston (23-29-5), which trails Niagara by seven points for sixth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

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Bulls 5 Petes 2

At Belleville, Ont., Tyler Graovac and Daniil Zharkov each scored twice and Joseph Cramarossa had a goal and two assists as the Bulls (37-14-6) beat Peterborough (21-31-7) to extend their win streak to eight games.

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Colts 4 Storm 0

At Barrie, Ont., Mathias Niederberger made 44 saves for his third shutout of the season and Steven Beyers scored the eventual winner as the Colts (37-19-4) blanked Guelph (39-20-5) to end a four-game winless streak.

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Attack 6 Spirit 2

At Owen Sound, Ont., Daniel Catenacci scored three times and assisted on two more while Jordan Binnington stopped 36 shots as the Attack (38-17-4) earned their fifth win in a row by defeating Saginaw (29-24-6).

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after their 4-3 OT win vs. Pittsburgh in Game 2, the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory