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Friday November 16th, 2012

Posted at 8:02am

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Wednesday night, the Saginaw Spirit put on a gruelling performance – an 8-7 loss to Plymouth. Last night, the Windsor Spitfires took advantage. Kerby Rychel scored two goals, and added two assists as the Spitfires roared past the Spirit 6-1 Thursday night at the WFCU Centre.

Windsor Spitfires associate coach Bob Jones said before the game, “I think we have to be aware of Trocheck, Ross, and Lodge. That’s their top line; they’re very good together. We have to get on their defense and we really have to make it difficult for Paterson if he’s starting tonight. He’s a big guy and we have to get traffic in front of him. And obviously, we have to win the special teams game tonight.” The Spits indeed did that, and much more.

The Windsor Spitfires were back on home ice after 11 days, and ready for some good old-fashioned Spitfires hockey. They started it off in the first period nearly four minutes in, on the power-play. Derek Schoenmakers received a pass that was sent between the Saginaw defender’s legs, and fired it past Jake Paterson. Defenseman Patrick Sieloff, yet again, landed one of his signature bone-crushing hits. Later, Brady Vail put his team up by two after picking up Saverio Posa’s slap-pass of the back boards. Vail’s shot deflected off the defender’s stick and over Paterson’s shoulder. Saginaw would come within one just over three minutes later after some scrambling for the puck. The Spits were falling and crawling to block shots in close, and Jaroslav Pavelka made some big saves. Nick Moutrey was able to put the puck behind the fallen goalie. However, that’s as close as the Spirit would get versus the rested Spitfires as the buzzer rang to end the period.

When period two began, the Spitfires started to take control of the game. They scored two goals, were dominant on the power-play, and kept their composure. First, Nick Ebert’s one-timer slap shot had enough speed and velocity to go untouched, and maybe unseen. Nearing the end of the period, and time running out, the Spits hurried on the power-play. With the puck in the Windsor zone, Pavelka passed it up to Rychel. He skated quickly across the blue line and let a swift wrist-shot go that caught Paterson off-guard. The resulting goal, with five seconds left in the period, put the Spits up 4-1. They commanded the shot clock now, after a 20-5 shot advantage in the second period, 30-22.

The game took a chaotic turn in the third period. Vail was delivered a wonderful backhand pass by Rychel from behind the net. Later, Rychel scored his second of the night on a beautiful 2-on-1 rush with Josh Ho-Sang. Though he was tripped up a bit at the red line, he managed to get the puck to Rychel. The pair skated hard toward the net. Rychel to Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang, after drawing the goalie out, back to Rychel for the easy goal. Already down by a favourable margin, frustration began to build for the Saginaw Spirit. A couple scrums would ensue (Justin Kea and Michael Clarke, as well as Vincent Trocheck and Derek Schoenmakers.) Former Spitfire Eric Locke checked Sieloff into the boards, and lied down on the Windsor defenseman afterwards. Locke was handed the initial cross-checking penalty, plus a 10-minute misconduct. The final second ticked down, as the Windsor Spitfires pick up a huge win.

The Windsor Spitfires are off to Barrie Saturday night to take on the CHL’s 7th ranked Colts. Sunday afternoon, they take on the 3rd ranked Owen Sound Attack. The team is back in Windsor Friday, November 23rd at 7:05pm for a rematch with the Saginaw Spirit.

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