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WITH PHOTOS: Culina Stands Tall In Spits’ 7-1 Win

Sunday January 3rd, 2016, 7:06pm

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Photos courtesy Tim Cornett/WindsorSpitfires.com

It’s been a stellar weekend for the Windsor Spitfires. A thrilling shootout win on New Year’s Eve, followed by a dominant win in Flint last night had the momentum undoubtedly in Windsor’s favour. Sunday afternoon at the WFCU Centre, the story remained the same. Windsor continued its hot start to 2016 with a defining 7-1 victory over the Saginaw Spirit.

Given the history of the two teams when they play each other, it was a surprise that the game started off on the slow side. A busy weekend could be indication of the quieter pace. Regardless, the Spitfires had a little bit more of a boost than the Spirit. With the extra energy, they would get on the board first. Logan Brown scooped up the puck from behind the net and headed to the corner. From there, he found Christian Fischer coming into the left circle. He positioned himself and fired a shot glove side to take a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Gabriel Vilardi settled down a bouncing puck from his own rebound. His second attempt found the back of the net as the Spits grabbed a two-goal advantage. Windsor would end the first period up by a pair.

The pace didn’t change much, despite the lead. It seemed to be steady, and the Spitfires were okay with it. They were the ones scoring the goals. Adding another was Kyle Auger, who netted his first OHL goal. Skating down the boards, he let a shot go from the left faceoff circle that was too quick for Cameron Zanussi’s glove. It was all Windsor at this point. At one point, the Spits were outshooting the visitors 11-4 in the period. Late in the period, Saginaw had a chance to narrow the lead on the powerplay. Windsor’s defense was strong, though, as they kept the Spirit at bay. After two periods, the Spits had a 3-0 lead.

With one period to go, the Spitfires really lit it up. Half a minute into the period, Fischer scored his second of the afternoon. Cristiano DiGiacinto’s initial shot made its way behind the net. Fischer picked it up and put it in. a few minutes later, Fischer returned the favour and set up DiGiacinto for a goal. The puck was sent to the middle to DiGiacinto, who beat Zanussi with a snap-shot. Adding a highlight-reel goal into the mix was Hayden McCool, as he put the Spitfires up 6-0 with just over 13 minutes left. With incredible poise and puck control, McCool skated in on the defender in the Saginaw end. On his backhand, he spun around the defenseman and cut in on the goalie. He shot the puck blocker side as the 4062 fans went ballistic. The Spirit did manage to get on the board shortly thereafter. The puck was sent to the point through the middle, and Dylan Sadowy blasted a shot straight past Mario Culina to break the shutout. It seemed as if the Spitfires were taking their foot off the gas pedal a touch as the team began to play a little softer. Windsor’s younger players stepped up with speed, however, and it paid off for another Spits rookie. Luke Boka scored his first OHL goal with utter excitement. He skated between two Saginaw players before sliding in a backhand to wrap up the scoring. Windsor won the one-sided bout 7-1 against the Saginaw Spirit.

The Spitfires’ next game is Thursday, January 7th at 7:05pm when they take on the Owen Sound Attack.

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