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Friday December 6th, 2013

Posted at 8:11am

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It’s been only two days since the blockbuster trade that sent stars Kerby Rychel and Nick Ebert to Guelph. In return, Windsor received forward Brody Milne and numerous second round draft picks. Milne didn’t need long to adjust to his new home. Thursday night, he contributed a goal – the eventual game-winner – and an assist in Windsor’s 5-2 victory over the Saginaw Spirit.

Milne also received the game’s third star for his hard work. Earning the second star was goaltender Alex Fotinos (saving 38 of 40 shots), while Josh Ho-Sang acquired first star (one goal and one assist).

Windsor was off to a good start with a couple of goals before the midway point of the opening period. Adam Bateman scored his first of the season just over two minutes in. He found the puck lying in the crease after Nikita Yazkov’s efforts. Later, Ben Johnson added a goal on a great play from Cristiano DiGiacinto. As the two entered the zone, DiGiacinto battled for the puck. Upon noticing Johnson behind him, he proceeded to tie up the defender and screen the goaltender. Johnson grabbed the puck and fired it to the back of the net.

26 seconds later, Saginaw rallied for a goal. Jimmy Lodge was wide open as he received a cross-ice pass from Kristoff Kontos. At the media timeout, the Spirit relaxed and regrouped. They came out flying after the break. In less than two minutes, Lodge scored again for Saginaw to tie the game. This time, he made his way out of the corner with the puck, skated in front of Alex Fotinos and lifted it to the top of the net.

The Spitfires stayed poised after giving up the lead; they recovered quickly. Before the period’s end, they regained control. Brody Milne scored his first as a Spitfire after Josh Ho-Sang’s pass attempt deflected off a defender right to Milne. He had an empty net to shoot in and he put his new team up by one after twenty minutes.

Early in the second, Milne left the puck for Ho-Sang. He skated from his end to Saginaw’s end and snapped a quick wrist-shot past beat Jake Paterson. Following the goal, the Spirit sent in Nikita Serebryakov to replace Paterson. The teams played back and forth defensively for the rest of the period, each team trying to best the other. The period would end in Windsor’s favour as the Spits were up by two.

Both defensive units stayed strong in the third. However, Windsor powered through. Remy Giftopoulos robbed the Spirit defender of the puck and sprung on a short breakaway. He drew the goalie to one side before shifting to the other. After the nifty move, the Spitfires were up 5-2. From there, they remained solid, all the way until the end. They were able to fight off a Saginaw 5-on-3 late in the game to secure the win.

The Spitfires are back at the WFCU Centre this Saturday, December 7th to face the Kitchener Rangers. The annual Teddy Bear Toss also takes place during the game. Fans are encouraged to bring stuffed animals to throw onto the ice when the Spits score their first goal.

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