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Stajcer Stays Solid for Owen Sound, Windsor Loses 5-4 in Overtime

Saturday February 18th, 2012, 11:53pm


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Photo: Kevin Chauvin

Tonight, the Windsor Spitfires played catch-up for most of the game, and as a result, they couldn’t muster a win, as the Owen Sound Attack relished their 5-4 overtime victory at the WFCU Centre.

Owen Sound opened the scoring early in the first period as Attack player Daniel Catenacci put his team ahead after several missed chances. The puck bounced off the board and then the side of the net before a pass made its way to Catenacci, who got his 29th goal of the season. Thirty seconds later, Spits defenseman Adam Bateman gave the puck away in front of goalie Jaroslav Pavelka, and Joseph Blandisi gave his team a 2-0 lead. Nearly ten minutes later, the Spits seemed to calm down and focus. Michael Clarke’s backhand pass found Zack MacQueen streaking down the left side, and now they were within one. Shortly after, Clarke made his presence felt more as he and Brayden Rose had a solid bout. A minute and a half later, Ben Johnson would duke it out with Kyle Hope. The period remained quite physical until the buzzer.

Things settled down a little in the second period. Once again, however, Owen Sound beat Pavelka, this time shorthanded. A miscue led to a 2-on-1 thus restoring the Attack’s 2-goal lead. The Spits, though, were not set on putting their feet up. Chris Marchese broke free from the corner, skated around a sliding Owen Sound player, and shot the puck above the glove of Scott Stajcer. The goal cut the lead down to one again. But at this junction of the second period, the referees were busy with their whistles. Back and forth, both teams took penalties, negating powerplays and creating chances. Unfortunately, the Spits were caught with an interference call. Good puck movement on the powerplay by the Attack gave Chris Bigras and his team a 2-goal lead for the third time tonight. A couple of minutes later, Owen Sound took another penalty of their own. At this time, Alexander Khokhlachev took control, cycling the puck with Brady Vail. Vail’s pass connected with Khokhlachev, who skated off towards the net. The shot made its way to the back of the net. Soon after, another Owen Sound penalty was called, and it had Windsor starting the third period on the powerplay.

And they were successful! Khokhlachev scored his second of the night to tie the game at 4. Opportunities arose for both teams throughout the third. Nearing the end, Nick Ebert was penalized for elbowing. Jeff Braithwaite saved the game for Pavelka after a big rebound made its way up front, but the big defenseman swatted it away just in time. The period came to a close with a 4-4 tie, the Spits shorthanded, the teams heading for overtime.

Owen Sound didn’t take long to strike. Only 56 seconds into the extra period, Jay Gilbert’s one-timer shot from just outside the left circle beat Pavelka, and handed Windsor its second heartbreaker of the weekend, in front of 6311 hockey fans. The final score was 5-4 for the Owen Sound Attack.

The Windsor Spitfires split the weekend, earning 3 of 6 points. Their next home game is Sunday, February 26th at 2pm against the Sudbury Wolves.

See photos from tonight’s game here.

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