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Austin Levi, Mitchell Heard lead Plymouth Whalers rout Erie Otters 10-6

NHL.com @NHL

ERIE, Pa. - Austin Levi and Mitchell Heard both had two goals and an assist as the Plymouth Whalers beat out the Erie Otters 10-6 in Ontario Hockey League action Wednesday.

Tom Wilson, Stefan Noesen and Garrett Meurs all had a goal and an assist for Plymouth (44-17-3), while Cody Payne, J.T. Miller and Alex Aleardi all added singles.

Stephen Harper had a hat trick and an assist for Erie (10-47-6), while Sondre Olden had a goal and set up two others. Kris Grant and Luke Cairns chipped in as well.

Plymouth scored 10 goals on 39 shots against the Otters' 2009 draft pick Adam Wood, who was recalled from the Clarington Eagles' Junior C club Wednesday.

Erie were reeling after a 13-4 loss at Niagara on Sunday, which saw forward Connor Crisp allow 13 goals on 45 shots as the emergency goaltender in place of injured Ramis Sadikov.

That prompted the Otters to bring in Wood and J.P. Cesario, who was an emergency loan from the Owen Sound Attack.

Erie began the night with an injured list that included goaltenders Sadikov and Devin Williams, defencemen Jimmy McDowell and Nathan Glass and forward Nick Betz. Crisp was also scratched after his freak goalie start.

Erie's rookie defenceman Travis Wood was injured in the first period.

Yet the Otters built a 3-1 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

Cairns opening the scoring 4:27 into the game on assists from Dane Fox and Adam Pelech. Plymouth tied the score on Heard's goal 46 seconds later. But Kris Grant scored at the 6:47 mark, followed by Harper's goal 1:01 later to hand the Otters a two-goal lead.

Yet Heard's second goal of the period, scored with 53 seconds left in the first, sparked a barrage of six consecutive goals that propelled the Whalers to a 7-3 lead.

Plymouth scored the final five goals of that decisive stretch in the opening 10:25 of the second period.

Payne ended the second with the Whalers' second short-handed goal for an 8-4 lead. He scored 1:28 after Harper scored during a 5-on-3 opportunity.

Erie's Harper scored his 24th goal of the season 5:03 into the third to complete his first career hat trick and make the score 8-5. But Levi and Miller scored 1:08 apart to build a 10-5 Whalers' lead.

Olden's goal capped the high-scoring game.

Plymouth goaltender Scott Wedgewood stopped 17 of 20 shots to earn the win in relief of Matt Mahalak, who was removed after allowing three goals on seven shots.

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