Windsor shooters peppered Sudbury with a season high in shots Thursday night-and thanks to Andrew Loverock's sensational goaltending, the Spitfires needed every last one of them.
Andrei Loktionov scored the winner at 4:40 of overtime, beating Loverock on Windsor's 64th shot of the game as the streaking Spitfires escaped with a 5-4 win over the Sudbury Wolves in Ontario Hockey League action.
Loverock single-handedly kept Sudbury in the game with a sensational 59-save performance in defeat, turning aside 39 of 42 shots in the second and third periods alone. The loss comes exactly one week after Loverock made 55 saves - his previous season high - in a 7-3 win over Barrie.
The Wolves actually came within 10 minutes of beating Windsor on the same day the Spitfires ascended back to the top spot in the Canadian Hockey League rankings. Sudbury led 4-2 midway through the third period, but Richard Greenop cut the deficit to 4-3 before Dale Mitchell's power-play goal with 3:02 left in regulation forced extra time.
The Spitfires (40-5-0-1) have won 11 in a row to climb back on top of the CHL rankings - leapfrogging the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen, who had led the past three weeks. It's the fourth separate time Windsor has been on top of the weekly rankings.
Elsewhere in the OHL on Thursday, it was: Niagara 5 London 2; Peterborough 6 Oshawa 3; Mississauga-St. Michael's 4 Barrie 2; and Brampton 2 Saginaw 0.
At Windsor, Ont., Greg Nemisz and league scoring leader Taylor Hall had the other goals for Windsor, which earned its second one-goal win over the Wolves in the past 11 days.
Justin Shugg and Marc Cundari added two assists apiece.
Sudbury (19-20-2-4) was lead by team captain Matt Dias, who had a goal and two assists. Former Spitfire John Kurtz, Eric O'Dell and Marcus Foligno had the other goals for the Wolves, who have points in three straight games (1-0-1-1) despite surrendering a whopping 157 shots over that span.
Andrew Engelage started in goal for the Spitfires but was replaced at the start of the third period by Josh Unice after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Unice made eight saves the rest of the way.
IceDogs 5 Knights 2
At St. Catharines, Ont., Marco Insam scored three goals and the IceDogs silenced phenom John Tavares in an upset win over London.
Andrew Agozzino and Matt Sisca had the other goals for Niagara (19-19-4-4).
Justin Taylor and Garrett Hunter replied for the Knights (34-9-0-2), while Tavares was held without a point and finished with a minus-four rating.
Petes 6 Generals 3
At Peterborough, Ont., Brett Theberge had a goal and two assists, including the game-winner, as the Petes rode six unanswered goals to a win over Oshawa.
Justin Larson and Pat Daley also had a goal and two assists each while Ryan Spooner, Tony Romano and Adam Sedlak added singles for Peterborough (19-26-0-2).
John Quarrie, James DeLory and Tony DeHart replied for the Generals (21-19-1-4).
Majors 4 Colts 2
At Barrie, Ont., Jared Gomes scored twice as Mississauga-St. Michael's beat the Colts.
Casey Cizikas and Jesse Messier also had goals for the Majors (23-19-1-2).
Stefan Della Rovere and Colin Behenna countered for Barrie (19-23-3-1).
Battalion 2 Spirit 0
At Saginaw, Mich., Thomas McCollum stopped 23 shots as Brampton blanked the Spirit.
Matt Kang and Evgeny Grachev scored for the Battalion (29-14-1-1).
Edward Pasquale made 34 saves in defeat for Saginaw (26-16-0-3).