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Sunday February 26th, 2012

Posted at 8:46pm

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Photo: Kevin Chauvin

Despite being shut out in Sarnia Friday night, the Windsor Spitfires did not disappoint the 6307 cheering fans in attendance Sunday afternoon, defeating the Sudbury Wolves 8-6 in a high-scoring, penalty filled game.

Not even a minute into the first, Windsor had some early chances. However, they halted their offense by taking a penalty. Luckily for the Spits, Sudbury was unsuccessful. The Spits put themselves in even more trouble when Kerby Rychel delivered an illegal check from behind. The forward was sent to the locker room with a 5 minute major penalty, and a game misconduct.

While shorthanded, Brady Vail broke out on a 2-on-1with Chris Marchese. Vail’s shot snuck between Wolves goaltender Joel Vienneau’s arm and body, but the defenseman slapped the puck away before Marchese could tap it in. At the other hand, Sudbury had great chances in close. As a result, Ben Johnson was able to easily get out of the zone with another shorthanded opportunity, although he was unable to finish the play with a goal.

Windsor killed off the major penalty, but could not carry their momentum forward, and the first period finished scoreless. Early in the second, Sudbury got on the board first. Joshua Leivo let off wrist shot past goalie John Cullen from between the circles. Following the goal, Windsor tried to fire up its team with a couple fights, merely two seconds apart. Stephen Alonge had a tough, even-sided bout with Jake Cardwell, followed by a quick scuffle between Spits tough guy Ty Bilcke and Chad Thibodeau of the Wolves. 40 seconds later, Windsor would tie things up.

Four Spits players entered the zone and it looked as if they were gonna give up the puck after Nick Czinder and Alexander Khokhlachev bumped into each other. Czinder didn’t give on the play though, as he stole back the puck. He passed it to Khokhlachev in front, and he found Nick Ebert on the right side of the net. Bilcke and Thibodeau went at it again, this time lasting longer than a few seconds. The fight worked in Windsor’s favour as Thibodeau was charged with an instigating penalty, a fighting major, and a game misconduct. Seconds later, Sudbury took another penalty, granting Windsor a 5-on-3 powerplay.

Nick Ebert scored his 25th goal, and 2nd of the night, with assists from Khokhlachev and defenseman Derek Holden. Throughout the period, the Wolves missed several open net chances. 3 minutes after the Windsor goal, Sudbury tied the game at 2. After winning the faceoff, and setting up their powerplay, nifty passing and puck control led to a goal by Andrey Kuchin. As the period went on, both teams had scoring chances. The Wolves, however, missed several open nets, and the Spits made them pay. Jordan Maletta scored with a wrist shot after Michael Clarke passed it out front. Alonge, who was standing beside the net, made the heads-up play by allowing the puck to slide between his legs, and it was enough to fake out the goalie and the defenseman.

The Spits added another goal as Khokhlachev scored his first of two. In spite of a Windsor powerplay, Sudbury was controlling the movement. When the Spits brought the puck into the zone, Marchese gave it away. Fortunately, on a Sudbury clearing attempt, Khokhlachev got in the way a few feet in front of the net. After a little puck handling, he got Vienneau out of position, and put the puck over the fallen goalie. Zack MacQueen also scored before the period ended, shooting the puck behind the Sudbury netminder with less than a minute remaining.

The Sudbury Wolves needed to mount some offense early in order to have a shot at a win. And they did just that. 22 seconds after the drop of the puck, Leivo scored his second of the game. Sadly for the Wolves, the Spits restored their two-goal lead. Jeff Braithwaite’s shot off the boards was grabbed by Marchese and hurriedly stuffed around the post. Their lead was made a bigger margin once again. Khokhlachev tipped Holden’s initial shot, putting his team up by 3. By the second half of the period, the goals were coming softly. Sudbury’s right-winger Derek Schoenmakers skated in and shot between Cullen’s legs. Then, once more, Sudbury closed the gap a little, as Josh McFadden deked out a Spits defenseman, and shot the puck past Cullen. The Wolves were within 2 again, getting hopeful, when Vail got himself another point. He fought off the Sudbury players, even outfighting a slash to the hands, and scored an empty net goal.

Samuel Schutt added one more for the opposition, but with but three seconds left, it was useless. The Windsor Spitfires ended the game with two very important points, defeating the Sudbury Wolves 8-6.

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