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Sunday January 18th, 2015

Posted at 9:07pm

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A high energy, fast paced game couldn’t be resolved in regulation inside the WFCU Centre. The Windsor Spitfires and Kitchener Rangers battled evenly to overtime, and then a shootout. Brandon Robinson was the lone goal-scorer of the shootout as the Rangers bested the Spitfires 5-4 Saturday night.

Almost matching stride for stride, the Spits and Rangers each put up early chances right from the start. They set the tone for a quick game. Unfortunately, Kitchener cashed in on the opening goal and went up 1-0. A pass to the point, followed by a one-timer from Max Iafrate, beat Brendan Johnston. Windsor came back with some late pressure, but couldn’t get the puck behind Jake Paterson. The Spits headed into the first intermission down by one.

Come the second period, Windsor was looking to tie the game early. Kitchener put up an early chance, but the Spits stayed strong. Soon, the momentum shifted. Jamie Lewis stepped up in a major way, scoring Windsor’s next two goals. He started things off with a three-on-two goal while on the powerplay. Though Kitchener was playing harder and winning the battles, Lewis struck again. Inside the Rangers’ zone, he stripped the defender of the puck. With a burst of speed, he rushed in on the goalie before making a nifty move to beat Paterson. The crowd of 6445 was rowdy following the go-ahead goal. The fans were silenced a couple of minutes later, however, as the Rangers tied the game with a powerplay goal of their own. A one-timer slapshot from the left circle by Ryan MacInnis found the back of the net. The eventful second period ended even at two.

Just like in the middle frame, the Rangers came out with an early chance less than two minutes into the third. That chance turned out to be a goal as the Spits were scrambling. Johnston couldn’t handle a rebound and the defense collapsed. Kitchener forced pressure and shot the puck into the net. Windsor came back to tie the game a little later. Newcomer Anthony Stefano put the Spits back in the game when he found the puck lying in the crease. Shortly thereafter, another newcomer regained the lead for Windsor. Lucas Venuto skated around the defender before pulling off an incredible outside spin-o-rama, and beating Paterson with a short-side backhand. After a highlight reel goal, the Spits had the momentum. However, less than a minute later, the energy drained from the arena as a quick slapshot beat Johnston blocker-side. With the game tied 4-4, the two teams were headed to overtime.

Though the Spits controlled the extra time, they couldn’t get the winning goal. They outshot the Rangers 4-1 in overtime, but the period would end still deadlocked at four, and so the teams prepared for a shootout.

The Spitfires shot first but didn’t score. Brandon Robinson fired next and he was quicker than Johnston. The rest of the shootout went scoreless and so the Spitfires fell to the Rangers 5-4.

Windsor is back on home ice Sunday, January 25th at 7:05pm against the Sarnia Sting. The night will be part of a two-game event, celebrating the Spitfires-famous #14.

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