The Windsor Spitfires skated to a 5-3 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday night in front of 4,784 fans at the WFCU Centre. The Spits were without star goaltender Michael DiPietro, NHL first rounders Logan Brown and Logan Stanley, NHL drafted Jeremiah Addison and NHL prospect Gabe Vilardi. Two LaSalle Vipers players, Maddux Rychel and Brett Primeau, jumped into the OHL lineup tonight.
Windsor - January 29, 2017 - The Windsor Spitfires skated to a 5-3 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday night in front of 4,784 fans at the WFCU Centre.
The seemingly never ending road trip in December was probably the toughest schedule stretch for the Spits, but the schedule makers did Windsor no favours again tonight. Tonight marked their third game in as many nights, with the last two on the road. It was also the club’s only Sunday night game of the season as Windsor looked to break a three game losing streak. Throw in the fact that it was a game against an Eastern Conference team, so the intensity level can sometimes be tough – especially when you are playing a team for the first time ever.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Spits were without star goaltender Michael DiPietro, NHL first rounders Logan Brown and Logan Stanley, NHL drafted Jeremiah Addison and NHL prospect Gabe Vilardi. Two LaSalle Vipers players, Maddux Rychel and Brett Primeau, jumped into the OHL lineup tonight.
Before the game was three minutes old, the Spits found themselves shorthanded, however the league’s best PK unit responded with a solid kill. Goaltender Mario Culina made a great save later in the period to prevent Hamilton from getting a short-handed goal. The Spitfires headed into the room after 20 minutes up 1-0 thanks to Adam Laishram’s first goal in a Windsor uniform.
The Spits outshot the Bulldogs 14-7 in the second period but were outscored 2-1. Michael Cramarossa and Matt Luff scored for the visitors while Hayden McCool notched his fifth of the season for the home squad. The score was 2-2 after two periods and at times both teams appeared a little flat.
The third period saw the Spits appear to hit their stride a bit more. Despite only registering seven shots, Windsor scored three goals. The line of McCool, Graham Knott and Jeremy Bracco continued to move the puck well and create chances. Knott put Windsor up 3-2 at 8:54 and Aaron Luchuk made it a two goal lead at 18:34. With the goaltender Dawson Carty on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, the Bulldogs would make it close with a Brandon Saigeon goal at 19:34. Luke Boka added the empty net insurance goal with just seven seconds on the clock.
SPITS NOTES - Windsor went 2 for 2 on the penalty kill, making it ten consecutive games without giving up a powerplay goal. Montreal Canadien prospect Mikhail Sergachev had three assists and was by far the most physical player on the ice. Spits improve their record at the WFCU Centre to 18-3-1-0 for a .841 winning percentage. Spits remain in second place in the West Division, two points back of the idle Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Windsor is back in action on Thursday night when the play host to the Saginaw Spirit.
In his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org