Luchuk Wins It For Windsor

Sunday November 15th, 2015

Posted at 9:37pm

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The game was virtually identical. The shots, the penalties, and the goals leading to the overtime period were all close. In the end, the shot that mattered most was scored by Windsor. Aaron Luchuk ended the game with his overtime goal to carry the Spitfires to a 3-2 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sunday afternoon in Windsor.

Though the opening period was scoreless, the pace was being set by both teams. It started out in Sault Ste. Marie’s favour, with the visitors controlling much of the play. Windsor had a hard time finding its groove, but it began to take form late in the period. The Spits came close numerous times, hitting the outside post on four separate occasions in the first. After a stalemate in the first, it was anyone’s game in the second.

In an even game, the Greyhounds broke a second period tie and grabbed the first lead. Gabe Guertler scored his first of two goals on the powerplay less than 6 minutes in. Blake Speers fired a shot that was easily stopped by Mike DiPietro, but the rebound bounced right to Guertler. He made no mistake putting the puck in. The Spitfires retaliated shortly after, though, and tied the game at one. Following two powerful saves from DiPietro, all five Windsor players broke out of their zone, creating a 5-on-1 opportunity. With speed and poise, Aaron Luchuk slid the puck across to Bradley Latour, who finished off the play and scored the equalizer. With four minutes to go, however, the ‘Hounds struck again. The initial shot was stopped incredibly by the goalie on a partial breakaway. The Soo’s offensive unit was there to pick up the pieces, as well as the upper hand. Guertler swatted in Boris Katchouk’s rebound past a downed DiPietro to regain the lead. Less than a minute later, the Spitfires had a big opportunity in front of them as Sault Ste. Marie was charged with a high sticking penalty. The four-minute major gave Windsor plenty of time to set up its second tying goal. A minute into the powerplay, thanks to some nifty passing from the whole line, Jalen Chatfield was able to beat Brandon Halverson with a great low glove-side shot. The two teams had themselves a 2-2 tie heading into the third.

With a period to go, both squads were moving the puck quick, trying to gain the go-ahead goal. The chances were there for each, but to no avail. Despite setting up incredible plays, the goaltenders were standing tall to keep the game locked at two after three periods.

The teams prepped for overtime and worked out some strategies for some 3-on-3 hockey. Windsor’s energy level was kicked up a notch as the Spits had a full head of steam right off the hop. Bursting into the Soo zone, they wasted no time putting up an early chance. Luchuk grabbed the loose puck from the neutral zone before skating around the net. He fired a shot and Halverson made the easy save. A speedy Luchuk found the rebound as he kicked the puck up to his stick. He made a move around the defender, then drew the goalie out with a forehand-backhand deke. With a mostly open net, he slapped directed the puck in for the game-winning goal. The crown roared as the Spitfires cleared their bench to join in the celebration. Windsor held on to rally past the Greyhounds 3-2 in overtime.

The Spits face the Guelph Storm this Thursday at 7:05pm at the WFCU Centre.

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