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After having their five-game win streak snapped Friday night in Sarnia, the Windsor Spitfires went right back to work the following night at the WFCU Centre. The Spits hosted the North Bay Battalion Saturday night, and came out victorious. They doubled the visitors 4-2 in the win.
The game was quick right from the start. The opening faceoff led to action at both ends of the ice. The Spitfires were the first to get on the board, thanks to a 5-on-3 powerplay. A blast from the blue line from Mikhail Sergachev rebounded to the goalie’s right. Christian Fischer found himself at the right spot at the right time as he sent the puck into the net. Following the goal, Windsor continued to pile on the pressure. The Battalion caught up in shots, but the Spitfires had the 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Spits were back at it again early in the second period, and went up by a pair. Hayden McCool used his skills and speed to skate between a couple of defenders in the North Bay end. Once he was in the slot and ready, he fired a wicked wrist-shot to beat the goalie on the blocker side. Being up by two wasn’t enough. Windsor still fired away at the North Bay net, trying for the next goal. Unfortunately, through all of the offense, the Spits were called for a penalty. In the dying seconds of the powerplay, the Battalion were able to get the puck behind Michael DiPietro. The Spits rushed up the ice shorthanded, but were stopped in their tracks. On the other side, Mike Amadio headed up the ice with speed. Similar to McCool’s goal, he skated between defenders and let a shot go from the right faceoff dot. The shot beat DiPietro between the legs and cut the lead in half. The teams exchanged pressure at both ends, but the score remained 2-1 after two.
The momentum had shifted near the end of the middle frame, but Windsor gained it back early in the third – 48 seconds early. With heads of speed, Brendan Lemieux and Fischer skated fast up the ice. Closing in on the net, the two had a very short two-on-one. Lemieux timed his pass perfectly. He sent it across, and Fischer tapped the puck in as he went hard and crashed the net. The teams went back and forth afterwards. It wasn’t until the last couple of minutes that the game took an interesting turn. The Battalion came within one. Upon pulling their goalie, they set up in the Windsor end. They had the Spits chasing the puck. Unable to clear the puck, Windsor was in trouble. Cam Dineen fired a shot from the point. DiPietro made the stop, but streaking across in front was Mathew Santos. He slapped the rebound in to make it a 3-2 game with less than two minutes to play. And again, North Bay pulled its goaltender. The Battalion came close in the Windsor zone, but the Spits managed to clear. They went up the ice before getting the puck to the corner. Logan Brown threw a backhand toward the front of the net. The puck ricocheted off of a North Bay defender and across the goal line. With 43 seconds remaining, Brown’s birthday goal was the icing on the cake. DiPietro fist-pumped in his net when the final buzzer sounded, knowing that he helped put his team back on the winning track. Windsor held on to defeat North Bay 4-2.
The Spitfires return to the ice Sunday afternoon to face a tough Kingston Frontenacs team at 2:05pm.