(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Clippers’ played a home and road game on the weekend resulting in a pair of exciting wins. In front of a large hometown crowd, Sunday night’s game against their chief rival, the Wallaceburg Red Devils, was the subject of much water cooler talk the next morning.
The game seemed destined for overtime, but resulted in a shocking regulation finish. Scoring was back and forth through the first two periods, with Windsor carrying a 10-8 edge into the final frame.
The Clippers were led through the first two-thirds by Patrick Kaschalk, who netted a natural ‘sombrero’ with a four-goal middle act. The Red Devils rallied early in the final stanza, finding two goals from Tyler Brown to tie it, while Tanner Cole and Evan Mathany later sniped to give Wallaceburg a two-goal lead late into the game.
Windsor started to battle back in the dying minutes, when Blain Wallace blasted a power play marker with four minutes remaining, followed by Dylan Riley who ripped the mesh behind Red Devils’ goalie Noble Jacobs just over a minute later.
The game certainly seemed to be heading to the extra frame, barring a late goal on Wallaceburg’s final possession.
With still plenty of time left on the clock, the Red Devils’ coaching staff became a tad over-zealous and pulled Jacobs for the extra attacker; going for the win. After Wallaceburg missed their shot on a set-play, the Clippers’ Alex Mayhead recovered the ball mid-floor, catching the Red Devils off-guard.
The Wallaceburg defenders did not converge on Mayhead until it was too late. He potted the winner into the empty net with 15 seconds remaining and clinched the 13-12 win for the home team.
“If you’re wide open with an empty net, absolutely, go take it,” said Clippers coach Jerry Kavanaugh, of Mayhead’s winner. “For it to be the game winner is kinda awesome for him. He had a heck of a night, all over the floor, so it was fitting for him to be the guy to pick it up at the end. [Wallaceburg’s] 6-on-5’s been real successful against us for the last few years and they do a really good job at it, so it’s something they’re comfortable with. Luckily, we’ve got a guy who was able to get a stick on the pass. They probably should have sent someone off the bench and take the penalty rather than give up the empty-netter.”
Kaschalk’s four goals and four assists led the way for Windsor, followed by captain Andrew Garant’s one-goal and six-point night. Blain Wallace netted a hat-trick for the Clippers, while Dylan Riley with a pair, and Mayhead, James Morgan, and Nathan Salaris who each added a goal.
Tanner Cole and Kyle Dawson each tallied hat-tricks for Wallaceburg, Brown and Mathany scored two, and Vern Hill and Corey Lucier each picked up a single.
“[We] get a little bit too fired up and that’s the problem,” said Kavanaugh. “There’s so much history. We’ve been able to handle them for the last couple years, but they didn’t really lose anything off last year’s roster and that a real good team over there, especially offensively; a lot of weapons. We’ve got to be better than we are with the discipline part of it. [The Red Devils] like to get in your grill, push and shove and grab the face mask, but if we’re going to take undisciplined penalties like that, it’s going to cost us.”
Jacob Corra improved his record to 2-1-0 with 39 saves on 51 shots, while Noble Jacobs, who was not technically in net for the losing goal, turned aside 34 of 46.
“It’s always nice to beat Wallaceburg,” said Kaschalk after the win, whose four-goal middle frame kept his team going through the centre stretch. “We always talk about trying to shoot a ball over a screen and I probably don’t shoot the ball that hard, but if I can get it in the right spot and get it where the goalie can’t really see it, it makes it a lot easier for me. I shot it a little bit more than I usually do, from the outside, and it ended up working out.”
Kaschalk is set to be making the jump to the Burlington Chiefs of the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League in the coming days.
The night before, the Clippers were on the road in Merritton visiting the St Catharines Spartans. Despite a close first half, Windsor ran away with the game with a 16-8 victory.
St Catharines led 5-4 with less than four minutes left in the second, but a seven-goal run for the Clippers dispelled any notion that this was going to be one for the win column of the home team.
Chase Kavanaugh led the way with a five-goal, nine-point night, including a third-period natural hat-trick, while Garant also capped off a nine-point game with three goals of his own.
Jake Rosa netted three, while Phil Ristoski, Andrew Clark, Morgan, Salaris, and Wallace each scored singles.
“It was a great all-around team effort with everyone contributing tonight,” said Ristoski after the game. “We had to battle from a tough first period, but then our offence started clicking and our defence and [Jacob Corra] started being a dominant force leading to a big win.”
Scoring for the Spartans were Kealan Pilon (3), Aaron Ward (2), Blair Pachereva, Jacob Edmands, and Devon Spiers.
Corra picked up the win between the pipes, making 21 saves, while Josh Daley took the loss for St Catharines, stopping 26.
The Clippers return to the floor Thursday as they host the London Blue Devils for the first time this season. Game time is 8:00 at Forest Glade Area.