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Sunday, January 16

Five power play goals aren’t enough for Spitfires as Sting recovers late to secure victory

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Windsor Spitfires head coach Marc Savard knew Friday’s game was a trap.

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After back-to-back road wins over Western Division leader Sault Ste. Marie to come within two points of first place, the Spitfires were unable to put up the same effort against Sarnia Sting, who sits last in the division.

Windsor had won all three games at Sarnia before Friday’s game, but Sting rallied back with three goals in the final 10 minutes of play for a 6-5 victory over the Spitfires in an empty Progressive Auto Sales Arena.

“(The Sting) made some trades at the deadline and got younger, but they’re going to work hard,” Savard said. “Our guys have been constant showing up.”

Special teams put the Spitfires in position for the club’s 10th road win in 15 games, which would have tied the club for the league lead.

The Spitfires eliminated five power play chances from Sarnia as they converted five times in seven chances with the man advantage to take a two-goal lead midway through the third period.

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Back in the lineup after missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols, Pasquale Zito put the Spitfires on the board first on a Windsor power play.

“(Zito) brings another element to our team and we’re a better team with him,” Savard said.

But the Spitfires played too loose defensively and goalkeeper Xavier Medina stopped just 17 of 23 shots by the Sting, who were outscored 34-23.

Following Zito’s goal, the Sting responded just 17 seconds later with Nolan Burke leveling the game 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Burke and Ryan Mast took Sarnia’s lead to 3-1 in the second period, but Will Cuylle’s power play goal brought the Spitfires within a goal just seven seconds after Mast scored. Daniel D’Amico added Windsor’s third power play goal to tie the game 3-3 after 40 minutes.

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Defenseman Andrew Perrot put the Spitfires back on top with his first goal since joining the team when he fired a shot from the faceoff circle on a power play from Windsor and Zito’s second of the game, and the Windsor’s fifth with the man advantage looked to have the visitors in control with less than 10 minutes to play.

But just 32 seconds after Zito’s second goal, Sting came alive with a goal from Theo Hill and Nolan DeBurse tied the game with just under seven minutes left in regulation.

Windsor removed a tripping penalty from Wyatt Johnston late in the period, but Mast fired his second of the game and passed Medina just nine seconds after the penalty had expired for the winner. With that, the Spitfires failed to produce a point for the second time in the last 12 games.

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Windsor returns home on Sunday to take on the Flint Firebirds, who are just two points behind the Spitfires in the Western Division, at the WFCU Center. Game time is 5:05 p.m., but no fans will be allowed in the arena due to provincial COVID-19 regulations.

spit bits

Zito’s return gave the Spitfires a complete and healthy roster with rookies Avval Baisov and Bronson Ride both having healthy scratches on Friday. Rookie Christopher O’Flaherty sat out the second game of a two-game suspension for being declared an instigator in a fight at Sault Ste. Maria.

The Canadian Hockey League announced Friday that the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, which was scheduled for February 2 in Kitchener, has been postponed due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is that the game can be rescheduled.

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The OHL announced Friday that Windsor’s postponed game against the Guelph Storm, which was to be played on Thursday, will now be played on Tuesday. March 22 at 7 p.m., which could give fans time to return to the stands.

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game summary

Friday result

Stinger 6 Spitfires 5

Windsor 1 2 2 – 5

Scabies 1 2 3 – 6

First period: 1. Windsor, Zito 11 (Johnston, Cuylle) 5:48 (pp), 2. Sarnia, Burke 17 (Voit, Dann) 6:05. Sanctions: Hill S (hook) 4:34, Ribau W (interference) 13:47.

Second period: 3. Sarnia, Burke 18 (Voit, Malyavin) 5:12, 4. Sarnia, Mast 5 (Namestnikov, DeGurse) 9:49, 5. Windsor, Cuylle 22 (Henault, Johnston) 9:56 (pp), 6. Windsor, D’Amico 9 (Abraham, Perrott) 15:45 (pp). Sanctions: Ribau W (cut) 7:41, McIntyre S (rough) 9:49, McIntyre S (stumble) 10:38, Zito W (rough) 10:57, MacDonell S (hold) 14:10, Dann S (high grip ) ) 18:52.

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Third period: 7. Windsor, Perrot 2 (Henault, Cuylle) 6:15 (pp), 8. Windsor, Zito 12 (Johnston, Perrott) 10:24 (pp), 9. Sarnia, Hill 10 (Voit, Dann) 10:58 , 10. Sarnia, DeGurse 8 (Voit, Burke) 13:14, 11. Sarnia, Mast 6 (Voit, Dann) 17:32. Sanctions: Perrott W (stumbling) 2:03, Filak S (too many men) 4:21, Perrot W (stumbling), McIntyre S (stumbling) 7:32, Mast S (hit high) 8:39, Perrot W (struggling), Pryce S (fight) 12:04, Johnston W (stumble) 15:23.

Game Statistics – SOG – Windsor 9 14 11 – 34 Sarnia 8 7 8 – 23 Goal (shots-stops) – Windsor: Medina (D,9-5-0-1) (23-17). Sarnia: Gaudreau (G,8-5-3-0) (34-29). Power play (goals-chances) – Windsor 5-7. Sarnia 0-5. Referees: Stephen Hiff (13) and Ben Wilson (32). line judges: Brad Horan (75) and Tristan Peacock (93). TO.: None in Progressive Auto Sales Arena.

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Reference-windsorstar.com

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