(WINDSOR, ON) – The always tough Kitchener Rangers came to town last night to face off with the Windsor Spitfires. As expected, the game was a hard fought affair requiring a shootout to determine the final winner.
After a scoreless 1st period, the visitors opened the scoring on a goal by Connor Bunnaman at 6:32 of the middle stanza. However, Jalen Chatfield and newcomer Jeremy Bracco set up Logan Stanley just 5 minutes later to draw the Spitfires even. It was Bracco’s first point as a Spitfire and it came against his former team mates.
With Stanley sitting off a double minor, Aaron Luchuk netted his 15th of the season, helped out by Julius Nattinen and Mikhail Sergachev, while shorthanded shortly before the period let out.
Windsor almost had the win in regulation when Rangers coach Jay McKee opted to pull goalie Luke Opilka in favour of an extra skater. The tactic worked as Bunnaman notched his second on the night with less than 2 minutes on the clock. After a scoreless overtime period, the teams readied for a shootout.
Luchuk, Bracco, and Nattinen’s failed attempts on Opilka were matched by Mike DiPietro stopping Bunnaman, former Spitfire Cole Carter, and Adam Mascherin. Finally, Gabe Vilardi found a flaw in Opilka’s armour while Cedric Schiemenz was stymied by DiPietro for the win.
Windsor kept pace with division leading Sault Ste Marie, who beat Sudbury the night before. The Spitfires trail the Greyhounds by 5 points, though they have 2 games in hand.
The 3-2 win over Kitchener was Windsor’s 4th victory in the last 5 games. They’ll visit 3rd place Sarnia tonight then return home to meet bottom dwellers Saginaw at 2:05pm on Sunday.