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Tuesday March 27th, 2012

Posted at 8:21am

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Penalties were the deciding factor Monday evening as the London Knights defeated the Windsor Spitfires 3-2 at the John Labatt Centre in London. Four of the five goals were scored on the powerplay, including Seth Griffith’s two markers for the Knights.

Right from the opening faceoff, London controlled the puck. Every now and then, Windsor had a hard time even breaking into the Knights’ zone. London opened the scoring after Seth Griffith got his 3rd of the playoffs on the powerplay. Spits goalie Jaroslav Pavelka made the initial save but the puck kept bouncing around the front of net. Players from both teams scrambled to retrieve it but eventually, it found its way to Griffith’s stick. He backhanded it into the net, despite the pack of players in front. Although Windsor was down 1-0 at the end of the first, they outshot London 11-10, and that would be a confidence boost.

The Spitfires set up their powerplay.

The tables began to turn in the second period. Windsor started to build momentum as the game went on. On a 4-on-3 powerplay, Windsor had phenomenal passing. There was a lot of open ice to be played with, and they made it count. Defenseman Derek Holden let a shot go that was tipped by Kerby Rychel, and through Knights goalie Michael Houser’s legs. Several minutes later, London fans cheered after thinking that the puck went in. After reviewing the play, it was confirmed that the puck hit the post. The Knights were able to continue pressure, however, and put a damper on the Spits’ energy as Chris Tierney turned around and fired a shot short-side. Later in the period, the Spits were momentarily without Chris Marchese after he took a knee to the thigh. Once past the halfway point of the period, it became a story of special teams. Penalty after penalty was taken by the two teams. As a result, Griffith was able to get his 2nd powerplay goal of the game late in the period. Ben Johnson bumped him but he kept pressing forward and shot the puck over Pavelka’s glove. The Knights had a 3-1 lead after two periods of play.

If Windsor was to force a comeback, they would need one early in the third period. And they got it. Once again on the powerplay, the Spits capitalized on Houser’s misplay of the puck behind the net. Jordan Maletta beat the London player to the puck as it slid out front. Houser rushed back to make the save, but was unable as the puck found its way over the goalie, and trickled in.

The Spitfires celebrate their 2nd goal.

The Spitfires were within one, but that was as close as they would get. Each team had their share of chances throughout the period. The game intensified towards the end when the Spits hit the post with just under one minute to play. They would get a few more chances but couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net. Time ticked down and the London Knights skated away with a 3rd straight victory against the Windsor Spitfires.

London now leads the series 3-0. Game 4 is Thursday, March 29th at 7:05pm, in Windsor, at the WFCU Centre. 

Go Spits Go!

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