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Friday December 14th, 2012

Posted at 7:31am

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spitfires

Windsor tried to keep its streak alive, but couldn’t quite make it happen. After winning four straight games, the Spitfires were looking for five against an undermanned Kitchener team. The Rangers proved they would be a tough team to beat though, as shorthanded as they were, as they skated to a 4-1 victory against the Spitfires Thursday night, at the WFCU Centre.

World Juniors 

The Kitchener Rangers were without goalie Franky Palazzese, defensemen Ryan Murphy and Max Iafrate, and forwards Tobias Rieder, Eric Ming, Matt Puempel, Radek Faksa and Justin Bailey. The players are away and preparing for the World Junior Championship.

Even with a diminished roster, Kitchener was still able to get things rolling in the first period on the power-play. Evan McEneny slid the puck to Domenic Alberga. Alberga faked the slapshot, and instead fooled a screened Jaroslav Pavelka with a wrist shot over the stick-side shoulder. The Rangers had another chance towards the end of the period when Patrick Sieloff was called for interference after delivering one of his crushing checks. The Spitfires killed off the penalty. They took a 1-0 deficit to the locker room, though the shots were nearly even.

The Spitfires didn’t wait long in the second period to get their engines revving. Ben Johnson skated down the left boards and batted the puck down to his stick. He left a pass in the slot for a one-timer snapshot from Chris Marchese that beat goalie John Gibson. However, the energy wouldn’t last. The Rangers, again, gained the lead just 35 seconds later. A slapshot from the left point hit a body in front but couldn’t be cleared. As a result, Keli Grant picked up the loose puck and easily shot it over Pavelka. The woes for Windsor didn’t end there. Michael Clarke and Trevor Murphy tried to pump up their team with a mini-brawl against the Rangers. It wouldn’t work though; Curtis Meighan capitalized on another Spitfires mistake. While the Spits tried to break out of their own zone, Sieloff passed the puck back to the speedy Josh Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang lost control of it when he tried to make a play past the Meighan. The Ranger forward shot the puck between Pavelka’s pads to put his team up 3-1 towards the midway point of the second. Windsor had a chance later on the power-play, but was unsuccessful as the team headed off the ice, down by two.

In the third, Windsor tried to fight back. Kerby Rychel continued to try for the wrap-around goal, especially after hitting the post in the first. However, penalty after penalty halted the offense. For Kitchener, it was former Spitfire Nick Czinder who put the proverbial final “nail in the coffin” against Windsor. He took advantage of a rebound out front and after two swats at the puck, he put into the back of the net. The goal was Czinder’s first of the year. The Spitfires have their winning streak snapped at four games as they suffer a 4-1 loss to the Kitchener Rangers.

The Windsor Spitfires’ next home game isn’t until New Year’s Eve when they battle the Plymouth Whalers. The puck drops at 2:05pm.

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