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Thursday March 29th, 2012

Posted at 11:16pm

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Photo by: Kevin Chauvin

The Windsor Spitfires skated away from tonight’s game disappointed. Though they gave a valiant effort throughout the series against the London Knights, they could not conquer the team in front of them. The Spits lost 8-3 Thursday night at the WFCU Centre in front of 5549 fans.

Ryan Rupert got his first of 3 as he put London on the board first. Behind the net, he spun around Stephen Alonge. His pass out front went off of Spits defenseman Saverio Posa’s skate and slid behind goalie Jaroslav Pavelka. Shortly after, the Knights went up 2-0 after Andreas Athanasiou sprung Brett Welychka free, and his high wrist shot went over Pavelka’s glove. The Spits were having a hard time getting any offense going. However, they managed to get a lucky bounce behind London goalie Michael Houser. As Brett Cook tried to squeeze between Kerby Rychel and the net, Rychel kept his stick on the ice and just tapped it behind Houser. The Spitfires went to the locker room down 2-1, though outshooting their opponents 13-10.

Ruining any chance for the Spitfires to strike first, the Knights scored early in the second on a great passing play between forwards Greg McKegg and Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov dropped the puck back to McKegg, who forwarded the pass back, and then received the puck in return. He made no mistake of putting it into the back of the net. Rupert got another goal after McKegg through the puck across the crease to his teammate, and he just directed it in. London added to Windsor’s woes as Chris Tierney got his stick on a rebound before the Spits could recover the puck. After two periods, London had a commanding 5-1 lead, and were now outshooting Windsor 24-20.

Windsor was able to get another one behind Houser as Marchese scored off a rebound. However, London kept up the onslaught. Rupert scored his hat trick, and 2 more Knights scored shorthanded, on the same Spits powerplay. Although Windsor was gassed, they got a final goal by Michael Clarke shot late in the period.

The Windsor Spitfires are now eliminated from the 2012 playoffs, losing their series against the London Knights 4-0. “We knew coming into the series they had a fire-power offense. We tried our best,” D.J. Smith told fans after the game.

Defenseman Adam Bateman said, “It was good to see the fans support us.”

Fans gave players Zack MacQueen, Derek Holden and John Cullen a standing ovation. The 3 players played their last game in the Ontario Hockey League tonight, as this was their overage season. The fans thanked the group for their play, and the memories they left behind.

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