(WINDSOR, ON) – The Saginaw Spirit were in the driver’s seat after 20 minutes, last night at the WFCU Centre, as they held a 2-0 lead on the Spitfires, in OHL action. However, Windsor continued to battle back to win 7-6 in overtime, in front of 4,196 in attendance.
Artem Artemov put the visitors in front at 3:54 of the 1st, from Matthew Kreis and Tye Felhaber, as Gabriel Vilardi served two minutes for hooking. Kirill Maksimov doubled the lead with an even strength goal at 12:27.
The Spits got on the scoreboard when Markus Soberg and Hayden McCool set up Daniel Beaudoin for his 3rd goal of the season, at 5:31 of the second. Windsor then drew even on the power play as Brad Latour netted his 11th, at 11:25, this time from Christian Fischer and Mikhail Sergachev.
The Spirit regained the lead shortly before the end of the period with Cristiano DiGiacinto in the box for goaltender interference. Connor Brown potted his 12th from Felhaber and Artemov to put Saginaw up by one heading into the final frame.
The Spitfires started the 3rd period with three goals in the first 3 1/2 minutes. McCool, Vilardi, and Brendan Lemieux put Windsor up 5-3 before the fans had returned from the concessions. Aretemov brought the Spirit to within one, on the power play, after DiGiacinto again got collared for goaltender interference.
Aaron Luchuk re-established Windsor’s 2-goal lead before the minute was out. However, first Mike Davies and then Kris Bennett levelled the score as the teams skated the final 8 minutes with no further scoring.
After playing a strong offensive game, Artemov was fingered for a rare overtime infraction and was sent off at 1:09. It didn’t take Lemieux long to score his 15th, and game winner, at the man advantage.
Evan Cormier took the loss between the pipes for Saginaw as he stopped 33 of 40 shots thrown his way. Amherstburg’s Mike DiPietro, who was good on 21 of the 27 shots he faced, recorded his eight win of the season for the Spitfires.
Windsor is now 19-9-5-0 on the year and is tops in the OHL West. At 43 points, they enjoy a 7-point lead over 2nd place Sarnia and are 12 points in front of the Spirit, who sit in 4th. The two teams will battle it out again tomorrow as the Spitfires take their 3-game winning streak to Saginaw for a rematch.
The Spitfires are back in action at home when they host the Sting on December 28. The puck drops at 7:05 pm.