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It was almost like déjà-vu. Over the weekend, the Windsor Spitfires had to swallow a tough loss from a resilient Kingston team. Thursday night at the WFCU Centre, they were handed another loss. They could only muster one goal against a strong Sarnia Sting squad. The Spits were defeated 5-1 by the Sting.
Intense described the beginning of the game. Both teams had excellent chances, while the two goalies stood tall and made great saves. It wasn’t until Windsor took the game’s first penalty that things went a bit awry. On the powerplay, Pavel Zacha entered the Spits’ zone before beating Mario Culina blocker side. A few minutes later, the cycle repeated itself. Windsor took a penalty, and Sarnia took advantage. A slap pass from the point went to Nikita Korostelev to Culina’s right. He slid a pass across the crease to the Sam Studnicka. Culina couldn’t make it across in time as the Sarnia captain pushed the puck in. Two early penalties cost the Spitfires two goals. At the other end, they had a hard time solving goalie Charlie Graham. At the end of the first, the Sting lead 2-0.
Early in the second period, Cristiano DiGiacinto dropped his gloves with a Sarnia player to get his team and the crowd into the game. However, he got the initial instigating penalty. Shortly after, the Spits took another penalty and went down two players. They managed to kill off one penalty, and draw another. Now with their own powerplay, the Spitfires could go to work. Mikhail Sergachev crossed the Sarnia blue line before blasting a slapshot. The puck had so much velocity that it powered through the goalie’s glove and in. the energy was shifting in the arena – but it wouldn’t last. A minute and a half later, the Sting regained their two-goal lead. Jeff King stripped a Spits player of the puck at the point before racing off with a breakaway. He made a nifty move in close and lifted the puck to the top of the net. The play would end Culina’s night, and Michael DiPietro would head to the net. Not long after, the teams took offsetting penalties and played a little bit of 4-on-4 hockey. It didn’t matter to the Sting. With more skating space, Sarnia added its fourth goal. Travis Konecny used his speed to race to the puck in the Windsor zone. Once he had position on the defender, he poked the puck across, chased it, and then lifted it over a sprawling DiPietro. At this point, nothing could go right for the Spits. They were missing nets, having pucks picked and causing breakaways. Sarnia was controlling the offense heavily as the visitors headed to the locker room with a 4-1 after 40 minutes.
Many of the same problems carried into the final period for Windsor. As a result, the Sting grabbed another goal that would wrap up the scoring. Konecny centered a pass that Korostelev redirected into the back of the net. After the fifth goal, Sarnia laid off the gas pedal a little, while Windsor held its heads. The Spitfires tried, but couldn’t make anything happen. The third period ended and the Spits left the ice displeased. The visiting Sting congratulated their goalie as they picked up a 5-1 win over Windsor.
The Spitfires’ last game of the regular season is next Thursday, March 17th against the Kitchener Rangers at 7:05pm.