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Friday March 1st, 2013

Posted at 8:14am

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Windsor was close – but so very far away. And the days are counting down. The Spitfires fought and clawed, and tried hard to earn the all-important two points. After evening the score in the second though, they gave up three third-period goals. Windsor fell hard to the London Knights 5-2 Thursday night, at the WFCU Centre.

From the get-go, London began to control the pace of the game. The Knights forced turnovers and made the most of Windsor’s errors; turnovers and neutral zone giveaways hurt the team. And so London would strike first. Bo Horvat narrowly missed the net earlier, but he scored on his second attempt following a pass through the crease from Chris Tierney. He shot the puck into the open side as the Knights grabbed the early advantage. Later, Horvat helped his team increase their lead to two. A loose puck was picked up by Ryan Rupert just inside the Spitfires’ blue line. He passed to Horvat in the corner, and was returned a pass for a quick give-and-go goal. After twenty minutes, London had a stranglehold on Windsor, outshooting the Spits 10-3, and leading 2-0.

Business picked up for Windsor in the second period after a bumpy beginning to the game. Before the period’s end, the Spitfires tied the game at two with goals by Ben Johnson and Kerby Rychel. First, Brady Vail let a shot go from the point that was blocked in front by a Knight. Johnson found the puck in the defender’s skates and released it past Anthony Stolarz. Shortly after, Vail’s fast shot off the boards towards the net was tipped up and over the goalie’s shoulder by Rychel. The Spits nearly fell behind again after going down two men due to a pair of penalties. Though London had some chances in close, it was Alex Aleardi who almost put Windsor up after he took off on a shorthanded breakaway. The play would result in a Knight penalty. The Spits killed off the second man-advantage, which lead to a power-play near the end of the period. Momentum had shifted as Windsor maintained late pressure against London. The Spitfires were capitalizing on loose pucks, creating movement and throwing everything towards the net. Unfortunately, nothing made its way past Stolarz, and the game remained 2-2 after two periods.

For Windsor, it seemed everything was left in the second period. An early goal by London off an awkward deflection stole the energy back from the Spitfires. Another goal in-close by Rupert set Windsor back further. Once again, there was a two-goal mountain to climb. And after a couple close calls – a tip just wide and a bouncing puck behind Jaroslav Pavelka – time was running out. The Spits tried their luck one last time by pulling the goaltender, but to no avail. Max Domi lifted a shot in and that would do it for Windsor.

Windsor lost a tough one 5-2 to the London Knights.

The Spitfires are back on home ice next Thursday, March 7th at 7:05pm when they play host to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

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