Spitfires unable to close series as Sting scores overtime win to send series back to Sarnia

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A good effort from the Windsor Spitfires just wasn’t enough.

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The top-seeded Spitfires dominated play but were unable to conclude the club’s Western Conference quarter-final series with eighth-seeded Sarnia Sting on Saturday.

Windsor outshot Sarnia 45-23, but the Sting escaped with a 3-2 victory in overtime in front of a crowd of 4,474 at the WFCU Centre. That sends the series back to Sarnia for Game 6 on Sunday with Windsor leading the best-of-seven series 3-2.

“I think overall we played a really solid game,” Spitfires head coach Marc Savard said. “We haven’t given up much.

“I thought in overtime we took it to another level. You gain some, you lose some. »

Goalkeeper Sting Ben Gaudreau made the difference. The former first-round pick made 43 saves but was also lucky in overtime.

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Defender Michael Renwick fired a shot from the crossbar early in the extra period and forward Matthew Maggio caught Gaudreau’s clearance pass along the boards and fired a shot to the open cage. Sting’s goaltender just came back in time to put a glove over the puck and prevent it from going into the net.

“It was close,” Maggio said. “I just saw Gaudreau go for a rim and I knew it was coming on my forehand and threw it to the net. It looked close. If it was a stop, it was a great stop.

The Sting claimed the winner at 8:21 of overtime with Ty Voit fending off a check and scoring on a partial breakaway.

“As a group, we’ve talked about it before and put it in the past,” said overage Spitfires defender Andrew Perrott. “(Sunday) a new day and we just need more desperation. Everyone must bring something extra (Sunday).

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Saturday started off promising for the Spitfires. Perrott scored on Windsor’s first power-play opportunity of the game. It was just the second of 21 man-advantaged goals this series for Windsor, which failed to convert four more chances in the game.

Oliver Peer beat Gaudreau but hit the post and rookie Ryan Abraham appeared to have Windsor’s second power-play goal of the period, but it was ruled out after review for offside.

“I think after that first goal, Gaudreau stood on his head,” Perrott said.

Nolan DeGurse scored on a Sarnia power play and came back with another just 42 seconds later to give the Sting a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

“Tough first series for us and we have a lot of guys who have never played OHL playoff games before this series and a lot of them don’t have a lot of experience (in the league) either and they’re learning at as we go,” Perrott said.

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Captain Will Cuylle’s shorthanded goal would take the Spitfires into extra time, but the club were unable to conclude.

“It’s a game of rebounds and luck and (Saturday) we were so close,” Maggio said. “It came down to rebounds and they got that game in the end and made it count. We had plenty of chances to make it count and we didn’t.

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Summary of the game

Saturday result

Sting 3 Spitfire 2 (OT)

Sarnia 0 2 0 1 – 3

Windsor 1 0 1 0 – 2

First period: 1. Windsor, Perrott 2 (Abraham, Renwick) 2:08 (pp). Penalties: MacDonald S (hook) 1:40, Filak S (high sticking) 17:55.

Second period: 2. Sarnia, DeGurse 3 (Voit, Dann) 13:51 (pp), 3. Sarnia, DeGurse 4 (Sikic, Mast) 14:33. Penalties: Dann S (stumble) 7:57, Cuylle W (raw) 9:00, McIntyre S (holding stick) 9:46, Mailett W (cut) 13:01, Hill S (raw), Perrott W (raw) 14 :11, D’Amico W (high pasting) 15:36.

Third period: 4. Windsor, Cuylle 4 (Johnston, Ribau) 6:31 (sh). Penalties: Ritchie S (high sticking):38, Peer W (hook) 5:16.

Over time: 5. Sarnia, at 2 (MacDonell) 8:21. Penalties: Nothing.

Game Statistics – SOG – Sarnia 4 9 5 5 – 23 Windsor 9 12 14 10 – 45 Goal (saves) – Sarnia: Gaudreau (W, 2-3-0) (45-43). Windsor: Onuska (L, 3-1-1) (23-20). Power play (goal chances) – Sarnia 1-3. Windsor 1-5. Referees: Drew Jackson (21) and Aaron Neely (15) Linesmen: Brad Horan (75) and Spencer Knox (72). For.: 4,474 at the WFCU Center.

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