Spits take a 2-1 series lead, with a game winning goal by Vilardi
By Lindsey Blake
The Windsor Spitfires skated to a 3-1 victory over the London Knights on Tuesday night, to take a 2-1 series lead, in front of 3,990 fans at the WFCU centre. With Jeremiah Addison serving game one, of his two game suspensions, Gabriel Vilardi picked up most of the slack with a great performance.
Windsor - March 29, 2017 - The Windsor Spitfires skated to a 3-1 victory over the London Knights on Tuesday night, to take a 2-1 series lead, in front of 3,990 fans at the WFCU centre.
The atmosphere in the building was electrifying when the Spitfires skated unto the ice before puck drop. There was a lot of animosity in the air. Prior to game time the Head Coach, Rocky Thompson of the Spitfires had been fined $7,500 and the team’s general manager had been sanctioned following the team’s playoff game against the knights in Game 2 of the series. In a media release the OHL called Thompson’s comments “most inappropriate and detrimental to the welfare of the league”. Thompson’s comments were reflected on, what he thought, was poor officiating.
After the first period, the Spitfires were outshot by a margin of 8-6. Stellar goaltending from Michael DiPietro sent the Spitfires into the intermission with a 1-0 lead. Julius Nattinen scored on the power play on a deflection from a point shot from Sean Day.
Before the clean ice surface had a chance to freeze, Austin McEneny lost control of the puck in front of his own goaltender. Max Jones quickly stole the puck and passed to Janne Kuokkanen at 1:33 into the second period for an easy tip-in goal tying the game at 1-1.
With Jeremiah Addison serving game one, of his two game suspensions, Gabriel Vilardi picked up most of the slack with a great performance. Vilardi broke the tie at the 6:15 minute mark into the second period beating Tyler Parsons’s glove side with a hard wrist shot. Cristiano DiGiacinto added some insurance scoring 12:15 into the second period assisted by Sean Day who tallied his second point of the game. In the third period the Spitfires killed off a double minor high-sticking penalty served by Cristiano DiGiacinto which was key to not allowing any Knights momentum. The Knights have scored only seven goals in four straight defeats at the WFCU centre.
The Spitfires outshot the Knights 18-16 and came up with some key saves from DiPietro to secure the victory. The Spitfires can take a stranglehold on the series with a victory on Thursday night. The series will resume in London for Game 5 scheduled for Friday night. If necessary, Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm EDT at the WFCU centre.
Note: This is the first time the Knights have trailed in the playoffs since they were swept by Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters in 2015.