WINDSOR, Ont. - An ugly incident took Philipp Grubauer out of Game 3 of the Ontario Hockey League final, but not before he had led the Windsor Spitfires within a win of their second straight league title.
Grubauer stopped 43 shots and Adam Henrique scored three times as the Spitfires defeated the Barrie Colts 5-2 Sunday to take a 3-0 stranglehold in the OHL championship series.
The Spitfires are also the Memorial Cup champions and can earn a chance to defend that title with a victory in Game 4 Tuesday night in Windsor.
Grubauer was replaced by Troy Passingham with 40 seconds left in the game after he was run over by Barrie's Darren Archibald, who immediately became involved in a fight with Windsor defenceman Craig Duininick.
Archibald was given a match penalty for charging after steamrolling Grubauer.
"You don't want to see something like that happen at any point in the game, let alone at the end of the game," Colts head coach Marty Williamson said. "I don't think it was a case of trying to send a message for the next game."
Windsor head coach Bob Boughner was more emphatic in his assessment of the incident.
"Absolutely, 100 per cent," he said when asked if he thought that Archibald should be suspended as a result of the hit.
"I think the Colts are frustrated," Boughner added.
Justin Shugg and Scott Timmons had the other goals for the Spitfires, who have won six straight games since falling behind 3-0 to the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL's Western Conference final.
Zac Rinaldo and Stefan Della Rovere replied for the Colts, who are on the verge of being swept out of their third appearance in the OHL championship.
With Rinaldo in the penalty box for roughing up Windsor's Taylor Hall and with Alexandre Burmistrov also off for playing without a helmet, Shugg opened the scoring in the game for the Spitfires in the second period. Shugg converted a cross-crease pass from Hall for his fifth goal of the post-season.
Henrique put Windsor up 2-0 six minutes later after he received another pass from Hall, who had just straddled the blue-line with the puck. Henrique scored with a backhander from his knees while positioned just outside the right of the Colts crease.
Henrique added his second goal of the period on a short-handed effort when he jumped on a rebound off the stick of Burmistrov and scored into an open net.
Rinaldo, who was making his return after serving a 12-game suspension, finally got Barrie on the scoreboard in the second period when he one-timed a centring pass from Burmistrov in the dying seconds of a Colts power play.
The Spitfires carried a 4-2 lead into the third period after Della Rovere and Timmins exchanged goals late in the second.
Henrique completed his hat-trick with just under five minutes remaining in the third period when Hall fed him at the Barrie blue-line and walked in before sliding a low forehand shot past Di Salvo.
Di Salvo, who was making his first start of the series, made 25 saves in a losing effort.