PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Matt Hackett stopped 34 shots and Vern Cooper scored the game-winning goal in the third period as the Plymouth Whalers upset the Windsor Spitfires 2-1 in Ontario Hockey League action Wednesday evening.
Hackett, a former Spitfire and the nephew of former NHL goalie Jeff Hackett, came up big twice in the third period, stopping a breakaway by OHL leading scorer Taylor Hall with 11:28 left and then shutting the door on Toronto prospect Dale Mitchell's breakaway with less than three minutes remaining.
With the Spitfires on a power play and the goalie pulled in favour of an extra attacker, Hall rang a snap shot off the crossbar with 40 seconds left.
Windsor (22-3-0-0), the Canadian Hockey League's top-rated team all season, lost for just the third time this year while Plymouth (8-12-3-0) was in the OHL Western Conference basement beginning the night.
Cooper's seventh goal of the season was a slick individual effort, beating Spitfire Harry Young in the right corner before walking in front and snapping a shot five-hole past overage goalie Andrew Engelage at 10:57 of the third.
Spitfires forward Eric Wellwood and Whalers defenceman Michal Jordan traded first period goals setting up the third period dramatics.
Engelage finished with 30 saves.