Spitfires Lose to Top Ranked Ottawa

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A third period rally helped the Windsor Spitfires earn a point in a 5-4 overtime loss against the Ottawa 67's.

Ottawa controlled the first 40 minutes and led 4-2 before the Spitfires scored twice in 25 seconds in the third period to force OT, only to see Mitchell Hoelscher score 2:01 into the extra period on a turnover in the Windsor zone to give the 67's the victory. 

Spitfires Head Coach Trevor Letowski is not discouraged by the loss against the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.

"Yeah, sure it's somewhat disappointing but in the big picture, geez that's fun for us as coaches to watch our team play that hard in the third against a pretty good hockey team," says Letowski. 

Windsor outshot Ottawa 17-2 in the third. In fact, Ottawa did not register a shot on goal in the final frame until there were 90 seconds remaining in the period. 

Will Cuylle and Luke Boka scored 25 seconds apart in the third period to tie the game at 4-4. 

Egor Afanasyev in the first and Grayson Ladd in the second period scored the other Spitfire goals. 

Ladd admits giving up six power play opportunities to Ottawa in the first two periods didn't help. 

"We had a bit of penalty trouble early off and that kind of took the momentum out of the game," admits Ladd. "But I think we had a really good third period and I think if we play like that all three periods, for sure, we will be a dangerous team."

The Spitfires ended up outshooting the 67's 29-26. 

Ladd says they got some strong goaltending from rookie Xavier Medina. 

"We had a bit of a bad break at the end," says Ladd. "I thought X, Medina, played really well, he kept us in the game for awhile, just kind of a bad break at the end. But I think if we play like that, in the third period, for all three periods, we should be good."

Hoelscher scored the game winner after the Spitfires failed to score on a power play to start overtime. 

Hoelscher, a New Jersey Devils NHL draft pick, finished the game with a goal and three points and earned first star honours. 

Ottawa (4-1) also got two goals from Jack Quinn and singles from Graeme Clarke and Brenden Sirizzoti. 

The Spitfires (3-1-1) return to action in the Ontario Hockey League on Saturday night when they host the Barrie Colts, coached by former Spits owner and GM Warren Rychel. 

Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the WFCU. 

AM800's coverage begins with the pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.