Windsor - September 20, 2012 - The season opener for the Windsor Spitfires did not go as the team had hoped. The Owen Sound Attack came to the WFCU Centre and handed the Spits a lopsided 6-1 loss in front of 5,906 fans.
It was a tentative start for both teams through the first period. The Spitfires outshot the Attack 13-12 in the scoreless opening frame. The Spitfires had an apparent goal midway through the first, but it was called back as the whistle had blown. A total of four minor penalties were called, two apiece, in an otherwise mostly uneventful period.
The Spits were tested early into the second when Brady Vail took a highsticking penalty. At the time, Derek Schoenmakers was already in the box for a boarding penalty from late in the first period. The Attack got a puck past Pavelka at 1:40 into the period, but like the Spits earlier the goal was called back due to a glove pass. Nick Ebert blocked a big shot to help the Spits kill off the two man disadvantage.
Brandon Devlin lost his balance early in the second period and gave the puck away deep in his own end, but Pavelka was there to make a big save to keep the game scoreless. Newcomer Emerson Clark played on the fourth line with Ty Bilcke and Sam Studnicka.
The first half of the second period saw Owen Sound pressuring Pavelka and the Spits, as the visitors outshot the home squad 10-2 in the first 10 minutes. Clark took a hitting from behind penalty at the 10:47 mark and twelve seconds into the ensuing powerplay, Gilbert Gabor slid the puck slowly passed Pavelka to put the Attack up 1-0. Owen Sound kept coming with Cameron Brace adding another goal extending their lead to 2-0.
With 38 seconds to go, it appeared that Owen Sound had hit the post. Referee Ryan Hutchison blew the play dead and checked the video replay. Further review revealed what most in the building believed - no goal. However, with less than 11 seconds remaining, Pavelka let in a Gemel Smith floater from just inside the blueline. With that goal, the visitors took a commanding three goal lead into the dressing room. Windsor was outshot 17-9 in the second period.
The third period started off much the way the second ended. Schoenmakers took a slashing penalty just 29 seconds into the frame. Just over a minute later, Daniel Catenacci put Owen Sound up 4-0. Grace notched his second of the game at 5:05 of the third and that was the end of Pavelka’s night. Jordan DeKort came on in relief.
Tempers began to flare as the game began to get out of hand. Clark made his presence felt with his first fight in a Spits jersey. That wasn’t enough to change the momentum though, as Jaden Lindo notched his first of the season and the rout worsened to 6-0.
The Spits broke Binnington’s shutout bid at 16:42 of the third with a powerplay goal by Michael Clarke. Rookie Josh Ho Sang picked up his first OHL point in his first game with an assist on the play.
Spits outshot the Attack 11-8 in the final frame. Final shots were 37-34 in favour of Owen Sound. The Spitfires next action is Saturday night when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie to take on the Greyhounds.
Three Stars: - All three stars were from Owen Sound. first was Smith, Second was Catenacci and Third was Brace.
Starting Line-ups: Spitfires - Pavelka, Sieloff, NcNaughton, Bezuch, Rychel, Clarke. Attack - Binnington, Cutting, Rose, Nastasiuk, Lindo, Smith.
Scratches: Spitfires - John Bowen, Adam Bateman, and Ryan Verbeek. Attack - Alex Annecchiarico, Joseph Blandisi, Jacob Middleton, Jarrod Maidens, Artur Gavrus, Brendan Childerley.