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Windsor Spitfires Eliminated

Friday March 28th, 2014, 7:23am


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A loss is never easy, and neither is saying goodbye. Windsor had to fight through many emotions after Thursday night’s defeat. The Spitfires put up a valiant effort, but were left empty-handed, losing Game 4 to the London Knights. The Knights were simply too strong and eliminated the Spits with a 4-3 win at the WFCU Centre.

The Spitfires stepped out of the opening period with a burst of energy, firing shots toward goalie Jake Paterson. They had more of a drive. Unfortunately, London struck to temporarily deflate the liveliness in the building. The Knights opened the scoring with a quick shot off the faceoff from Brady Austin. It was the period’s lone goal, but Windsor skated off after the first knowing there was still plenty of hockey to play.

The Spits got right back to work early in the second. They had pep in their steps, and their strides pushed the pace. It only took the speedy Spits 13 seconds from the drop of the puck to tie the game. Ben Johnson’s fast wrist-shot fooled Paterson, and brought Windsor back into the game. The mood shifted moments later when a Knights player fell hard into the boards. On a circling play, Josh Ho-Sang bumped Zach Bell, and his leg slammed hard against the boards. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher. The game continued and London soon regained the lead. Gemel Smith picked up the puck, deked the defenders and beat Alex Fotinos. Windsor’s defense held its own, though, and fought off a lot of London offense. After two periods, the Spits were down 2-1.

A one-goal game had both teams pressing hard for the game’s next crucial goal. Swiftly, the Knights came out with a rush of offense. As a result, Max Domi’s snap-shot was too hot for Fotinos to handle. Windsor was now down a pair just 44 seconds into the third period. The Spits didn’t call it quits just yet, though. Sam Povorozniouk may have outdone Smith’s goal earlier in the game with a few moves that left Paterson lying on the ice. The Spitfires pulled to within one with lots of time remaining. Once more, the teams were looking for the all-important next goal. London killed a couple of Windsor’s power-plays, and soon after, regained the two-goal advantage. A fast-skating Bo Horvat lifted a high backhand shot into the top of the net. As time ticked down, the Spits scored once again with 22 seconds left. Ryan Foss deflected a shot past Paterson and into the net. Following the goal, Windsor ran out of time.

The Spitfires stayed in the game until the end, but the Knights put a halt on the comeback, and the season. London swept Windsor in four games with a 4-3 win.

Following the conclusion of the game, Steven Janes, Remy Giftopoulos and Eric Diodati skated onto the ice with tears as they said farewell to their fans one last time. The three Spitfires are over-agers and will not be returning to the OHL next season.

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