One of the this summer's top players for the 2010 NHL Draft this summer Taylor Hall made the difference late in the first OT as he scored his 15th of the OHL Playoffs to help the Spitfires win their 5th in a row after having to comeback from 3-0 down to the Kitchener Rangers in the Conference Finals.
After a slow start to the game, things got cooking late in the 1st period as Windsor's Adam Henrique & Ryan Ellis scored late in the first after Barrie's Matt Kennedy and Kyle Clifford scored to make it 2-0 Colts.
After the 2 Spitfires goals late in the first, the game turned into a defensive showing as both teams were careful about giving up the next goal as both teams thought that it might have been a barn burner in Game 1 of the OHL Final.
Windsor continued to barrage it's SOG with 48 but Barrie Goalie Marvic Parks made 44 saves on 48 shots in the game while Windsor's goaltending situation has been a bit shaky this season, but Spitfires goalie Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves on 32 Barrie Shots as the Spitfires turned it up in the 3rd period by out-shooting the Colts 5-0 in the OT Period.
For Barrie to handle Windsor's shooting ways as the Spitfires have among the league leaders in SOG by a wide margin all year in the OHL.
Game 2 of the OHL Championship will be back in Barrie on Thursday Night as the Colts will look to comeback from the Game 1 OT Loss.
From Aaron Bell of the Ontario Hockey League Website: http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/
The Barrie Colts are quickly finding out why people are calling the Windsor Spitfires the "Comeback Kids". The Colts took an early lead in Game 1 of the Rogers OHL Championship Series in Barrie on Tuesday and then had the lead again late in the game but resilient Spitfires battled back both teams and then scored in OT to win the Series Opener.
Taylor Hall was again the hero for the Spitfires when he blasted a one-timer from the faceoff circle 2:35 into the overtime to give the Spitfires a 1-0 Series Lead.
"I knew that their guys were kind of forcing Ryan Ellis and I had to get into a soft spot," Hall said about the goal. "Fortunately I got a lot on the shot and I don't think he saw it at all. It was very fortunate for us.
"I thought it was a pretty good effort by our team. We started off a little bit sluggish and that cost us an early lead but as we got going, that helped out legs."
Matt Kennedy opened the scoring at 13:11 into the game and then Kyle Clifford staked the Colts to a two-goal-lead three minutes later. But Adam Henrique put the Spitfires on the board just 33 seconds later and then Ryan Ellis tied the game in the last minute of the opening period.
Darren Archibald pushed the Colts ahead again midway through the 2nd period and the Colts held on to the lead until Mark Cundari tied it with 3:16 in the third period to force Overtime.
The Spitfires earned their way into the Championship Series after a dramatic comeback against the Kitchener Rangers in the Western Conference Final Series. The Rangers won the first 3 games of that series before the Spitfires roared back with 4 straight wins to reach the OHL Finals for the 2nd straight season.
"Coming into this game, we just wanted to keep this simple, play a solid road game and never give up," said Cundari, who grabbed a loose puck in the slot and fired it on the net for his 2nd goal of the playoffs. "In the 3rd period I got a bounce and I buried it and we brought it to Overtime. We went into the room and said we were going to win this game. We needed it. It was a huge bounce for us."
Philipp Grubauer won his fifth straight game after allowing 32 shots while Marvic Parks took the loss after stopping 44 of 48 shots in the opening game for the Colts, who suffered their first loss in 8 playoff games.
Game 2 is in Thursday in Barrie (6:30 PM CDT) before the series shifts to Windsor for Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday.
The Colts welcomed a sold-out crowd of 4296 for their first appearance in the OHL Championship Series since 2002 and are looking to even up the series at home on Thursday Night.
"I think it's huge for us", said Colts Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo. "We worked all season to get home ice advantage for the circumstance right here. The fans were good here tonight I just wish we were able to put on a little better performance and get the win. Were ready to go for the next game."
For the Spitfires, they have an opportunity to take the series lead back home for the next two games.
"Were going to play the exact same as we did today," Cundari said. "Obviously were going to clean up some things in our defensive zone and work on some of the top things that we need to be successful. It's going to be a great game and hopefully we will end up on top."
Windsor Spitfires Lead Series 1-0
Windsor Spitfires 4 Barrie Colts 3 (OT) (2-2, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0)
0-1 BAR: Matt Kennedy (Gaskin) 13:11 1st
0-2 BAR: Kyle Clifford (Pither) 16:10 1st
1-2 WSR: Adam Henrique (Wallace) 16:43 1st
2-2 WSR: Ryan Ellis (Cantin, Nemisz) 19:27 1st
2-3 BAR: Darren Archibald (Carnevale, Crawford) 10:36 2nd
3-3 WSR: Mark Cundari (Wellwood) 16:44 3rd
4-3 WSR: Taylor Hall (PP) (Ellis, Fowler) 2:35 OT
SOG: WSR 48 BAR 32
PP: WSR 1/4 BAR 0/4
PIM: WSR 10 Minutes on 5 Penalties BAR 10 Minutes on 5 Penalties
Goalies: WSR Philipp Grubauer 29 SVS on 32 Shots BAR Marvic Parks 44 SVS on 48 Shots
3rd Star: Darren Archibald (WSR)
2nd Star: Mark Cundari (WSR)
1st Star: Taylor Hall (WSR)
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