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Engelage sets new single-season wins record as Spitfires beat Whalers

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WINDSOR, Ont. - Andrew Engelage earned his 46th win, setting a new single-season record, and the Windsor Spitfires beat the Plymouth Whalers 5-1 in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday.

Engelage made 23 saves en route to beating the OHL record of 45 wins set by Steve Mason of the London Knights in the 2006-07 season.

"I would not have been able to have won so many games this season if our entire team did not execute our systems so well all season," Engelage said. "Not only do we have a solid corps of defenceman, but our forwards never forget about their defensive responsibilities as well.

"This is a team achievement as far as I am concerned."

The six-foot-five, 205-pound, native of Oshawa nearly did not return to the Spitfires for his third season.

"Nothing was cast in stone about my coming back after the end of last season," said the 20-year-old overage goaltender. "(Windsor head coach) Bob Boughner called me during the summer and invited me back to camp.

"I couldn't be happier that I did come back though, we have accomplished so much this season. We have to put the regular season behind us after the next couple of games and focus on having a long run in the play-offs."

Dale Mitchell opened the scoring in the game for Windsor with his 33rd goal of the season when he took a centring pass from Mark Cundari and deposited a backhander behind Whalers' netminder Matt Hackett.

Eric Wellwood scored short-handed to put the Spitfires up by two goals before the end of the opening period.

Andrei Loktionov and Taylor Hall scored 34 seconds apart midway through the third period to chase Hackett from the game.

Scott Wedgewood replaced Hackett as the Plymouth netminders combined for 31 saves.

Jesse Blacker had the Spitfires (57-8-0-1), who have already wrapped up first place in the OHL.

Matt Caria replied for the Whalers (35-26-5-0), who missed a chance to move into a tie with Saginaw for third place in the Western Conference.

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