Spitfires Dethrone Knights

Shalapata-Header(WINDSOR, ON) -The Windsor Spitfires bookended the New Year holiday with home wins over the Flint Firebirds and the London Knights.

The OHL Midwest Division-leading Knights came to town yesterday with the intent of putting more distance between them and the Erie Otters. The Spitfires, however, had other plans as they skated roughshod over the Knights 5-1, in front of 5,239 fans.

The 1st period was more than half over before Jalen Chatfield notched his 5th of the season with assists to Jeremiah Addison and Logan Brown. The 1-0 lead lasted until just about the end of the middle frame when London’s Robert Thomas knotted the score with 57 seconds left on the clock.

The Spitfires had had enough of the close-run affair and quickly went to work to shake off the Knights.

Defenseman Sean Day arrives to help Mike DiPietro face down London's Cliff Pu, late in the game on 3 January 2017.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Defenseman Sean Day arrives to help Mike DiPietro face down London’s Cliff Pu, late in the game on 3 January 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

Chatfield and Logan Stanley set up a Hayden McCool power play goal at 1:38 of the 3rd with what would prove to be the winning goal. Stanley notched one himself, also on the power play, when McCool returned the favour along with Cristiano DiGiacinto.

The Spits then started to pile on when Cole Purboo and Gabe Vilardi each beat London goal keeper Tyler Johnson, just 11 seconds apart. The pair of goals, assisted by Addison, Brown, Sean Day, and Graham Knott, chased Johnson from the game as he was replaced by Knights coach Dale Hunter.

Windsor’s Mike DiPietro stopped 28 of 29 shots on goal for the win.

The win improved the Spitfires record to 24-7-4-1 and pulled them to within 3 points of the West Division-leading Soo Greyhounds.

Jeremiah Addison (10) takes the puck to the London net against goaltender Tyler Johnson.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Jeremiah Addison (10) takes the puck to the London net against goaltender Tyler Johnson.
Photo by John Skinner.

On December 31st, the Spitfires doubled up the visiting Flint Firebirds 4-2 on the strength of two goals from Addison.

Luke Boka opened the scoring, from Knott and Stanley, but the Firebirds would tie the game before the end of the 1st period by a goal from Ryan Moore. He then put the ‘Birds in front early in the 2nd frame, although Day’s feed to Aaron Luchuk drew the teams even before the period was 10 minutes old.

Jeremiah Addison scored twice against the Flint Firebirds on 31 December 2016.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Jeremiah Addison scored twice against the Flint Firebirds on 31 December 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

Addison then went to work with with game winner, from Brown and Andrew Burns, at 11:02, then the insurance goal, helped by Brown and Vilardi, at 16:58.

Mario Culina faced 20 shots in goal for Windsor, with DiPietro stopping 3 of 3 in relief.

Windsor now heads on the road for games in Guelph and Owen Sound, starting January 6, before coming home for a return visit by the Kitchener Rangers on the 12th at 7:05pm.

Mario Culina (32) keeps an eye on the puck as Jalen Chatfield takes the man during a Flint chance deep in the Windsor zone on 31 December 2016. <br>Photo by John Skinner.

Mario Culina (32) keeps an eye on the puck as Jalen Chatfield takes the man during a Flint chance deep in the Windsor zone on 31 December 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata