Spitfires Send Bulldogs Packing

Sunday February 21st, 2016

Posted at 9:26pm

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A first time visit to the WFCU Centre was one to forget. The Windsor Spitfires hosted the new Hamilton Bulldogs, and made it known that it was their house. The Spitfires pelted the Hamilton net with shots, and skated away with a decisive 6-2 win over the Bulldogs Sunday afternoon. The weekend snapped a five-game losing streak for the Spits, who have now won two straight – both against the Bulldogs.

The chances were there for Windsor seconds into the opening period. The team was throwing everything they could toward the goal from the get-go. Despite the flurry of shots, though, the visitors got on the board first. The Bulldogs picked off a pass behind the Windsor net. Matthew Strome skated out front and left the puck for Matt Luff, who slapped it in. The Spitfires kept the same mentality and worked hard in the opposition’s end. Hamilton had plenty of giveaways in its zone, but the Bulldogs’ goalie kept his team in the lead – for the time being. Gabriel Vilardi smoothly stickhandled around players and slid a pas across the crease. Cristiano DiGiacinto was waiting and put the puck in the back of the net for the equalizer. Less than two minutes later, the Spits struck again. Tyler Nother’s blast from the blue line was tipped in by Christian Fischer as Windsor picked up a late lead. After the first, the team was up 2-1, outshooting the visitors 17-4.

Hamilton evened the score nearly halfway through the period to stop the Windsor momentum. In a bizarre series of events, the puck seemed to bounce off of everything, and eventually across the line. Initially, goalie Mario Culina made the stop. The Bulldogs swatted at the rebound and watched as it bounced up and off the post. It would hit a few players in the air before dropping away from the net. While the puck was inches off the ice, Jack Hidi swung at it. The puck redirected off of the goalie’s skate and across the line. it was no big deal for the Spits; they continued to play their game. Minutes after Hamilton tied the score, Windsor changed it back into its favour on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Down low, to the goalie’s right, Fischer side-stepped the defender and slid a pass to Bradley Latour. Alone in front, he slapped the puck to the back of the net. The Spitfires regained the lead and ever looked back. A little over a minute remained when Fischer scored his second of the game. This time, Brendan Lemieux sent a backhand pass to the Spits player alone in front. He put the puck in as Windsor went up by two before the end of the second. The team had a 4-2 lead heading into the third.

In the final frame, the Spits would add another pair of goals to complete their efforts. Early on, it was Hayden McCool getting on the scoresheet. Connor Chatham, on a slick play, left the puck behind for the Spits forward. He fired a quick shot between the goalie’s legs and in. a bit over ten minutes later, Logan Brown wrapped up the scoring for the afternoon. Behind the Hamilton net, the Bulldogs’ defenseman mishandled the puck, and Lemieux took control. He burst toward the net for a quick chance, but was stopped by Kaden Fulcher. Brown was there for the rebound and easily put in. the Spitfires held a 41-16 shot advantage by the end of the game. They handed the Hamilton Bulldogs a 6-2 loss.

Windsor’s next game is this coming Thursday, February 25th against the Barrie Colts at 7:05pm.

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