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Friday February 1st, 2013

Posted at 7:48am

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The party is postponed for Windsor. For the third time in four games, Windsor allowed over five goals. Missed passes, soft puck movement and turnovers favoured the Peterborough Petes. Four former Spitfires and their teammates handed Windsor another hefty loss as they skated away with the 7-5 victory Thursday night, at the WFCU Centre.

Following the trade deadline, the Spitfires were a new team: refocused, reenergized. Reloaded. They made it look easy – up until last weekend. In three losses, including Thursday’s defeat, the Spits have given up 23 goals. It appears the team’s balloons and confetti have come to a stop.

The Windsor Spitfires started the game on a positive note. Early in the period, Peterborough’s defender cleared the puck out of the zone, but a speeding Nick Ebert jumped on the opportunity. He brought it into the zone and let a bullet of a shot go; goalie Michael Giugovaz had no chance. Shortly after, Peterborough tied things up thanks to former Spitfire Michael Clarke. He tipped a high shot from the point past Jaroslav Pavelka, and after a lengthy review, it was confirmed that the tip was not a high-stick. The Spits nearly regained the lead by hitting the post a couple times. Ebert almost got his second of the game when his wrist shot rang off the bar. After a nifty little deke out front, Alexander Khokhlachev ended up in the net, but his shot hit the post as well. Windsor was close, but not close enough – and Peterborough took advantage of the misfortunes. Chase Hatcher and Stephen Pierog both beat Pavelka before the end of the period, as the visitors led 3-1 after the opening 20 minutes.

It seemed that the Peterborough Petes weren’t going to slow down in the second period. Right off the hop, just over a minute in, Jonatan Tanus scooped up a rebound and lifted it over Pavelka. Kerby Rychel and his linemates livened up the arena on the power-play after a beautiful goal. Khokhlachev entered the opposition’s zone and was being chased by a pair of Petes. He forwarded a pass to Rychel who stopped in stride, moved to the front of the net and put the puck top-corner with a backhand. The fans were dazzled by the play and cheered louder. However, Peterborough silenced the crowd yet again. A quick slap-shot beat Pavelka to up the lead by three once more. After allowing the fifth goal, Pavelka was replaced by Jordan DeKort. The Spits looked as if they had a new-found energy following the switch. Remy Giftopolous scored his 19th of the season on the power-play with a slap-shot. Nearing the end of the period, Brady Vail brought his team within one. Khokhlachev’s shot from the slot was saved by the pads, but Vail pounced on the rebound. And with time ticking against the Spitfires, Ben Johnson scored the equalizer. Alex Aleardi worked his magic down low, and even had a great chance in the air after being tripped. Johnson came streaking in to backhand the puck into the mostly open net – unknowingly to Aleardi, who was looking for the penalty. 5-5 after two periods and the Spitfires were right back in the game.

Unfortunately for Windsor though, they ran out of gas. In the third period, it was all Peterborough. The Petes outplayed and outworked the Spits for the majority of the period. Michael Clarke scored another goal near the halfway mark of the final 20 minutes, and it seemed to collapse the Windsor bench. As time was running out, Peterborough added an empty-netter for good measure. The Spitfires lose a rough one against the Petes by a final score of 7-5.

Windsor’s next game is this Sunday when they welcome the Guelph Storm. Puck drop is 2:05pm.

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