VIDEO-UPDATED: Spitfires Shot Down By Sting In Game Six
A hard fought battle was for naught as the Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the 2018 OHL Playoffs by the Sarnia Sting Sunday.
Windsor took a series that many thought would be all Sarnia to six-games before falling 5-2 at the WFCU Centre.
The Sting came out flying with two unanswered goals Ryan McGregor and Franco Sproviero to finish the first 2-0.
Jonathan Ang stretched Sarnia's lead to 3-0 mid-way through the second, but Windsor's William Sirman scored his second of the playoffs to climb back within one.
Zach Shankar made it 3-2 just five-minutes into the third, but that would be all the fight Windsor could muster. Jordan Ernst tallied his second of the playoffs to stretch the lead and Hugo Leufvenius put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal for a 5-2 finish.
Shankar tells AM800 News the team left it all on the ice.
"We made a good push, they were up 3-0 and we could have just rolled over but we kept coming and made it a 3-2 game and we pushed them hard," he says. "Obviously that fourth goal was a little bit of a heart breaker but I thought it was a pretty good game."
Spitfire goalie Michael DiPietro bounced back from his knee injury in game five to put on an impressive performance. He kept things close, despite facing 29 shots in the first two periods.
"I felt okay, I didn't want use my leg as a crutch. I knew how big today was and it's one of those injuries you can play through and I chose to. I didn't want to put my team in a situation where I wasn't in the net," says DiPietro. "I don't regret my decsion, I was just pround to be out there with my teammates until the last second."
Winger Jake Smith says, despite the outcome, the Spitfires can hold their heads up high.
"I'm just so proud of all the guys, we put our hearts out there. We worked 100% in every game and we left everything on the ice, that was the mindset at the start of the series," he says.
Sarnia will move on to play the Kitchener Rangers in the second round of the 2018 OHL Playoffs.
Great gesture by the @SpitsHockey players saluting the fans at the end of Game 6 after being eliminated by Sarnia. Windsor's rebuild appears to be on the right path. #OHL #cklw @CTVWindsor pic.twitter.com/hY9HeK4ECT— Manny Paiva (@paivathewayCTV) April 1, 2018