Windsor, Ontario – One last time in the Rose City brought the Erie Otters to the WFCU Centre in Windsor on Thursday night, battling the Spitfires for the final time in the regular season. After winning the opening game of the season series back in October 7-4, Erie has dropped back to back games to the Spitfires. With the trade deadline acquisition of Shane Wright for Windsor, the Spitfires have become the team to beat in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference. For the Otters, however, they come in with the most momentum they’ve had in some time after taking 3/6 possible points against teams above them in the standings on home ice. With former Windsor Spitfire goaltender Kyle Downey leading Erie from the net, the team would look to slay the dragon.
You couldn’t have asked for much better of a start for the Erie Otters. The team came out in period one looking like a prepared, rested team. The pace of play and time of possession were both dominated by the Otters, and they would be the team rewarded firstly. Sam Alfano (10) would open game scoring 9:10 into the contest as he fired one through from the mid-slot. The lead wouldn’t last long, thanks to a highlight-reel goal from Windsor’s Rodwin Dionicio (6) 1:07 later. However, Erie would immediately jump back in control, as Dylan Edwards tenacious work would be rewarded courtesy of Carey Terrance (17) on a one-timer 14:55 into the game. After 20 minutes, Erie would hold a 2-1 lead despite trailing in shots 9-7.
Down by a goal after 20, the Windsor Spitfires would flip the script back in their favor by the time the second 20 came to an end. Scoring started in the frame from the team’s leading-scorer, Matthew Maggio (31) just 4:36 in. Erie would not take long to get themselves back on the board, despite being on the penalty kill. Noah Sedore would streak out wide to pressure Joey Costanzo after a clear, and the goaltender would mistakenly give the puck to Pano Fimis (10) for the crafty forward to convert a short-handed goal to make it 3-2 Erie. Just under six minutes apart, the Spitfires would grab a pair of goals from Jacob Maillet (13) and Liam Greentree (14). Thanks to a 17-8 shot advantage (26-15 in the game), Windsor would lead 4-3 after 40 minutes.
Erie would start off the period with a carryover power play from the second period. Unfortunately for the Otters effort, it would be the Spitfires who would convert off the penalty, as Jacob Maillet (14) would score shorthanded to give Windsor a 5-3 lead just 1:46 into the period. This would be Maillet’s second goal of the night. Near the halfway mark of the period, a miscue from Kyle Downey on a clearing effort would see the puck deflect off the goal post out to Shane Wright (5) who would score the final goal of the game. Windsor would outscore Erie 5-1 down the stretch to take a 6-3 victory, outshooting the Otters 35-27.
Erie continues its road trip on Friday night, traveling to the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia for the final time this season. This will be the third meeting of the season between Erie and Sarnia, with the Otters looking for their first victory against the Sting. The Otters road trip comes to a close on Sunday afternoon in Flint, Michigan, battling the Firebirds.