WINDSOR, Ont. - Stephen Johnson scored his first of the post-season with less than three minutes left to play, lifting the Windsor Spitfires over the Erie Otters 7-6 to take a 3-0 lead on Tuesday in their Ontario Hockey League Western Conference quarter-final series.
The defending Memorial Cup champion Spitfires, who featured six 30-goal scorers during the regular season, enter the game without a power-play goal in the series. However, they quickly rectified that problem by scoring four goals in six opportunities with the man advantage.
The Spitfires struck for three power-play goals in just over two minutes late in the first period to seemingly take control of the game. Justin Shugg notched his second goal of the post-season with Windsor enjoying a two man advantage. Taylor Hall then added his second goal of the series before Mark Cundari extended Windsor's lead to 3-0 with three minutes to go in the opening frame.
Gregg McKegg, Derek Holden and Brett Cook all scored for the Otters to knot the game at 3-3 before Kenny Ryan restored Windsor to a one-goal advantage.
After Mike Cazzola scored his first of the series to once again even the score, Zack Kassian broke the stalemate on another Windsor power play with just 10 seconds left in the second period.
The scorefest continued in the third period as Hall added his second marker of the contest before Shawn Szydlowski and Cazzola, also with his second of the game, tied the game at 6-6 with just over three minutes left in the third period and the game appeared headed to overtime.
But Johnson's wristshot dribbled past Otters netminder Ramis Sadikov just eight seconds after Cazzola's second marker to settle the affair.
Windsor's Philipp Grubauer made just 12 saves to pick up the win while and Sadikov was stellar making 51 saves in his first game of the series, which resumes Thursday night in Erie.