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Friday March 16th, 2012

Posted at 12:31am

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Photo by Kevin Chauvin

The Windsor Spitfires overcame a tremendous obstacle tonight, knocking the 2nd place London Knights off of their horses, and shutting them out 2-0 at the WFCU Centre.

An incredible pace was kept by both teams tonight at the WFCU Centre, and the 6449 fans definitely had reasons to cheer. In fact, two very big reasons came from the Windsor Spitfires; the first toward the end of the period. Three Spits players broke into the Knights’ zone. Though London had man-on-man coverage, Michael Clarke managed to pass the puck to Jordan Maletta. Maletta’s high backhand shot was saved, but rebounded. Stephen Alonge’s rush to the net allowed the puck to bounce off his skate and past goalie Michael Houser. After review, there was no kicking motion, and Windsor took the lead late. The teams equally had strong fore-checking, as well as solid goaltending. “Pavelka held us in it the first 10 minutes. We built confidence as the game went on,” said assistant coach D.J. Smith. After one period, however, the home town had the lead.

Although the second period was scoreless, there were many scoring chances for both teams. The goaltending was a big story for the two squads throughout the period. London got an opportunity on the powerplay during the period, but was unsuccessful. By the end of the period, after the teams kept up the swiftness of play, the fans cheered as Windsor still led 1-0.

Again, in the third, it became a battle of the goalies. The Spits had great, offensive opportunities. London countered with chances of their own, coming close to tying the game on a few occasions. The tension built in the final minute after Windsor took a penalty. The Knights pulled their goalie as well, and now had 6 players on the ice, contrary to Windsor’s 4. The Spits played defensive hockey, attempting to stop passes and block shots. As a result, Ben Johnson’s block sprung him free toward the empty net, with only one player to beat. His shot from the blue line found its way to the back of the net, and the crowd’s energy climaxed. The Windsor Spitfires finished off the London Knights, giving the Spits a huge win.

After the game, D.J. Smith said, “Whether we play London or Plymouth, we need to play the exact same game as we did tonight.” Windsor has two games remaining: Friday night will be played in Saginaw, followed by their final regular season game Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie.

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