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Defending Memorial Cup-champion Spitfires open season with loss to Whalers

NHL.com @NHL

WINDSOR, Ont. - The road back to Memorial Cup started with a bump for the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday night.

Miles McCauley scored the shootout winner for Plymouth as the Whalers ruined Windsor's Memorial Cup party, downing the Spitfires 6-5 in the opening game of the Ontario Hockey League season for the cross-border rivals.

The Spitfires got goals from Austin Watson, Taylor Hall and Cam Fowlerin late in the third period to tie the game 5-5 and set the stage for McCauley's heroics.

The Whalers jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes on goals by Tyler Seguin, Sean Meyers and Tyler G. Brown. Seguin later added a second goal to go along with an assist for a three-point night. Josh Bemis also scored for the Whalers.

Hall led the Spitfires with three goals and an assist, while Fowler had four points, including his first-career OHL goal.

The Spitfires, the number-one ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, were honoured before the game for last season's Memorial Cup victory.

Windsor head coach Bob Boughner was quick to put the game into perspective.

"We had a dull feeling on our bench for the first few minutes of the game and it took too long for too many guys to get things going," he said. "It was difficult to keep clawing back all night long.

"We are still implementing our systems and a lot of players are still getting used to their roles on our team."

Scott Wedgewood made 39 saves in picking up the win for the Whalers, while Josh Unice and Troy Passingham combined for 20 saves for the Spitfires.

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