Panthers prospects Kenndal McArdle (Vancouver) and Dan Collins (Plymouth) will match-up against one another for the second time tonight in the Memorial Cup Semi-Final game.
Plymouth, who lost to Vancouver in the opening game of the tournament, defeated Lewiston 5-1 last night in the tiebreaker game to advance to tonight’s semi-final. However, history will be going against Plymouth in tonight’s game. No team that has had to play in a tiebreaker game in the Memorial Cup has been able to win it and only one team _ the Victoriaville Tigres in 2002 _ has won a semifinal game after getting through the tiebreaker.
"This tournament is really a strange thing," Whalers head coach Mike Vellucci told the Canadian Press "We were, what, 52 seconds from going home and Lewiston was 52 seconds from going to the (semifinal)."
The Whalers scored two goals in the first nine minutes and held a 3-0 edge going into the third period for their best start of the tournament.
"It's the first time we've done it," Whalers forward Tom Sestito told the Canadian Press. "When we're behind we start to panic and everyone tries to do it themselves, but we stuck together as a team and we got the lead tonight."
Overshadowing any outcome of the game was the fact that two American based teams met in a playoff round of the memorial Cup for the first time ever.
The Vancouver Giants (2-1) had their unbeaten streak snapped as they were shutout by the Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday in front of a record 14,091 fans. The win gave Medicine Hat an automatic bye into Sunday’s final.
"It's do or die now, we really have to get it done," said Vancouver captain Brett Festerling. "We have to work hard and we have to be better than we were (Wednesday) which I think we will be."