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Friday March 9th, 2012

Posted at 8:15am

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Photo by: Kevin Chauvin

The Windsor Spitfires lost a tough one last night at the WFCU Centre. Nearing the end of the regular season, and fighting for a playoff spot, the Spits were hoping for 2 valuable points. Unfortunately, they had to settle for 1 as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds won 2-1 in overtime.

Throughout the opening period, Sault Ste. Marie was controlling the pace. The team had great scoring chances, as well as great puck movement. Spits goalie Jaroslav Pavelka had to make many big saves. Sadly, it was this type of play that put the Hounds up 1-0. Two players rushed into the Spits zone for a short 2-on-1. David Quesnele attempted to pass the puck across to his teammate, but Jeff Braithwaite blocked the pass. The puck, however, made its way back to Quesnele’s stick, and he easily shot it past Pavelka. Later, the Spits got a few chances of their own on the period’s only powerplay, but were unsuccessful. They went to the locker room outshooting the Hounds 14-11, but were down 1-0 after one.

Again, in the second, Sault Ste. Marie’s speed and controlled pace allowed for some opportunities. Although coming up with immense timely saves that kept his team in it, Pavelka was also allowing rebounds. The Spits recovered the rebounds though, not giving the Hounds a chance to take advantage. After two periods, the shots were now 25 apiece, but the Spitfires were still down.

As the third period began, it seemed as if Windsor had refilled itself with new fuel. They jumped on loose pucks, and as a result, Michael Clarke tied the game for his team and the 5923 fans in attendance. The Spits had several opportunities to take the lead, hitting the post a couple times. The Greyhounds hit the post as well after good puck handling and a toe-drag. Back and forth action would result in the final buzzer sounding, and the teams headed to overtime.

It was nearly halfway through the overtime period when the Soo players flew across the Spits line. Colin Miller dropped a pass back to Brett Findlay, and his wrist shot was a rocket over Pavelka’s glove, and in the top corner.

Despite a loss, the Spitfires moved ahead in the standings to 7th place with 61 points, due to the point from the overtime loss. Sault Ste. Marie and Guelph are tied for 8th with 60 points each.

Looking ahead

The Windsor Spitfires have but 4 games left in the regular season, and each one is crucial. “Defense first, and capitalize on the chances,” said Jordan Maletta about what the Spits have to do in the remaining games, starting with Sarnia on Sunday at 2:05pm, at the WFCU Centre. Regarding Sunday’s game, assistant coach D.J. Smith said, “We need to keep Yakupov off the board. We’re gonna use our shutdown line. And if we only get one goal, let’s make it 1-0.”

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