WINDSOR, Ont. - Austin Levi scored the overtime winner and Matt Mahalak made 27 saves as the Plymouth Whalers defeated the Windsor Spitfires 5-4 Thursday.
The Whalers (14-6-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead just past the midway mark of the first period on goals by Garrett Meurs, Beau Schmitz and Tom Wilson. Alexander Khokhlachev replied with his ninth goal of the season on a power-play before the end of the opening frame.
Windsor starting netminder John Cullen was replaced by Jaroslav Pavelka after allowing Plymouth's first two goals on five shots just over three minutes into the game.
Adrian Robertson and Ben Johnson scored for the Spitfires (11-11-3) in the second period to tie the game 3-3 after two periods.
Andy Bathgate scored for the Whalers while Khokhlachev scored his second goal of the game in the third period to set the stage for Levi's heroics.
Pavelka, acquired earlier in the month from Niagara in a blockbuster deal that saw Tom Kuhnhackl move to the IceDogs, was at his acrobatic best throughout the game, made 24 saves in his relief effort.
J.T. Miller, the first round draft choice of the New York Rangers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, chipped in with three assists for the Whalers.