Belleville 3, Plymouth 2 in Saturday Shootout

Whalers now 0-0-1-1

 Joseph Cramarossa scored the only goal in the shootout and goaltender Malcolm Subban stopped all three Plymouth shootout attempts and 33-of-35 shots over 65 minutes to lead the Bellleville Bulls to a 3-2 shootout win over the Plymouth Whalers in the Whalers home opener played Saturday night at Compuware Arena. 

The Whalers—who lost, 6-5 in overtime on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie—are now 0-0-1-1.  Belleville is 2-0-0-0. Stefan Noesen (2nd) and Ryan Hartman (first OHL goal) scored in the first period for the Whalers while goaltender Matt Mahalak stopped 28-of-30 shots. 

Austen Brassard (2nd) scored in the first period for Belleville and Carter Sandlak (first) replied in the second for the Bulls. After a scoreless third period and overtime, Cramarossa and Subban decided the game in the shootout.

Plymouth raced to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Noesen (0:51) and Hartman (8:42).  Alex Aleardi started the Noesen goal, skating deep into the Bulls zone and finding Colin MacDonald at the left point.  MacDonald took a low shot that Noesen - stationed at the hasmarks - deflected by Subban after he beat a Belleville defender to the spot in front of the net.

Hartman scored his first OHL goal at 8:42.  Garrett Meurs set up the play, skating into the Belleville zone to the slot and feeding Hartman at the right circle, who made no mistake with a shot that went top shelf.

Belleville cut the Plymouth lead in half on Brassard's goal at 14:45, scoring through traffic at the left hasmark by Mahalak. Sandlak tied the game at 6:17 of the second period, following up Garrett Hooey's severe angle shot from the right wing by banging home the loose puck just outside the blue ice.

Plymouth is off until next Saturday night when they host Sudbury at 7:05 p.m. at Compuware Arena.

GRITTY '13 PROSPECT HARTMAN PLYS TRADE FOR PLYMOUTH:  Adam Kimelman of NHL.com profiles Plymouth's Ryan Hartman, who celebrated his 18th birthday this past weekend.  Kimelman writes:

It took Mike Vellucci one viewing to know he wanted Ryan Hartman to play for his team.

Three years later, the coach/general manager of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League is about to be rewarded for his patience.

Hartman, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward, opted to join the Whalers this season after playing the past two with the U.S. National Team Development Program. In 2011-12, he was second on the USNTDP U-18 team with 38 points in 55 games, and added six points in six games to help the United States win the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Hartman is expected to produce at a high level for Plymouth this season, and NHL Central Scouting has ranked him as a B player on its preliminary watch list for the 2013 NHL Draft.

"How he controls the puck is one of the things that I was most impressed with," Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com. "I've seen him just a few times … but when he controls the puck he can really make an impact on the game."

Hartman certainly made an impact on Vellucci. It was during the 2009-10 season, when Hartman was playing for the Chicago Mission minor-midget U-16 team, that Vellucci saw Hartman for the first time.

"I remember we were at City Ice Arena in downtown Detroit and I think he scored four goals that game," Vellucci told NHL.com. "Three of them were top shelf, beat the goalie high, just really good goals. That was one of the reasons [we wanted him]. I saw him personally play. He was a gritty player, he played in the tough areas, he was a goal scorer. I remember he scored four goals and that's what attracted me at first to him."

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