The Windsor Spitfires have now put back-to-back wins together for the first time in nearly a month.
The Spitfires watched a trio of two-goal leads slip away, but got a late goal from Tyler Angle to slip away with a 6-5 win on the road over the Kingston Frontenacs before a crowd of 3,356 at the Leon’s Centre.
“It’s a big win,” said Spitfires’ head coach Trevor Letowski, whose team was coming off a 7-3 win in Peterborough on Thursday. “We really liked our game in Peterborough and wanted to take that momentum into this one.”
The modest two-game win streak is the first for the Spitfires since winning three-straight games from Jan. 12-19.
“It’s getting late in the season and every point is crucial and this is a game we had to find a way to get and it’s never easy going back-to-back,” Letowski said.
But Friday’s win turned into a battle against a Kingston team that is just a single point behind Niagara for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure, but the guys found a way,” said Letowski, whose team is 8-2-1-0 on the road since the start of 2020.
Zayde Wilson got Kingston on the board first in Friday’s game, but Luke Boka and Cole Purboo answered late in the period to put the Spitfires up 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Egor Afanasyev pushed Windsor’s lead to 3-1 less than two minutes into the second period, but the Frontenacs refused to fold.
Dawson Baker made it a one-goal game before Daniel D’Amico put the Spitfires back up 4-2 with a goal on Windsor’s only power play of the game.
Rookie Shane Wright again made it a one-goal game before Windsor rookie Wyatt Johnston again pushed his club up by a pair of goals, only to see Wisdom’s a shot bounce off the boards, onto the net and off Windsor goalie Xavier Medina’s back and in with just 40 seconds to go in the second period to make it a 5-4 game despite the Spitfires holding a 30-16 advantage in shots at that point.
“I thought we were in control, for the most part, but they were pretty opportunistic and that fourth goal was tough to give up,” Letowski said.
Vitali Pinchuk finally pulled the Frontenacs even in the third period and both teams had chance to take the lead before Angle got the game-winning goal as he put a loose puck over Kingston goalie Christian Propp.
“They got the tying goal, but I thought our guys really dug in,” said Letowski, whose team is now 19-1-0-0 when leading after two periods. “We were desperate. They were pushing us in the third period, but we probably had 10 shot blocks near the end.
“We’ve had a rough stretch recently, but for the most part we’ve found a way to win these types of games. The guys just found a way and you move forward.”
The win was key for the Spitfires, who head to Ottawa to face the 67’s on Sunday. The club remains a point behind Flint for fourth place in the Western Conference and moved to within three points of Saginaw for first place in the West Division with two games in hand.
Spitfires 6 Frontenacs 5
Windsor 2 3 1 – 6
Kingston 1 3 1 – 5
First period: 1. Kingston, Wisdom 25 (Wright) 14:43, 2. Windsor, Boka 16 (Douglas, Afanasyev) 17:00, 3. Windsor, Purboo 19 (Angle) 19:30. Penalties: None.
Second period: 4. Windsor Afanasyev 24 (Douglas) 1:54, 5. Kingston, Baker 18 (Frasca, Pinchuk) 4:46, 6. Windsor, D’Amico 20 (Corcoran, Afanasyev) 5:38 (pp), 7. Kingston, Wright 33 (King, Wisdom) 11:07, 8. Windsor, Johnston 10 (Zito) 12:11, 9. Kingston, Wisdom 26 (Chromiak, Wright) 19:20.Penalties: Cuylle W (slashing) 2:52, Brahaney K (high sticking) 5:23, Cuylle W (slashing) 13:02.
Third period: 10. Kingston, Pinchuk 8 (Frasca, Baker) 8:45, 11. Windsor, Angle 25 (D’Amico, Purboo) 15:42. Penalties: None.
Game stats – SOG – Windsor 16 14 7 – 37 Kingston 9 7 11 – 27 Goal (shots-saves) – Windsor: Medina (W,15-8-2-0) (27-22). Kingston: Propp (L,11-17-1-1) (37-31). Power play (goals-chances) – Windsor 1-1. Kingston 0-2. Referees: Ryan Harrison (3) and Pat Myers (40). Linesmen: Jeremy Makhon (45) and Jean-Francois Menard (52). Att: 2,356 at Leon’s Centre.