After having to go into overtime in all five games of a thrilling semifinal series with the London Knights, the Windsor Spitfires made sure the opener of the Ontario Hockey League final ended in regulation.
Justin Shugg scored a third period hat trick and the Spitfires' offence exploded Wednesday in a 10-1 rout of the Brampton Battalion, giving Windsor a 1-0 lead in the OHL final. "No one expects score 10 goals in a league championship series game," Windsor head coach Bob Boughner said.
"I thought we took advantage of a lot of our scoring opportunities and that gave us the momentum throughout the game."
Andrei Loktionov added a pair of goals for the Spitfires.
"I think our guys got a huge life from the standing ovation they received before the game (from the sold out Windsor Family Credit Union Centre crowd), but still it took us about 10 minutes into the game to really get things rolling," he continued. "You could still test that we were a bit rusty after not having played for a week."
Loktionov opened the scoring in the game midway through the opening period when he deflected a slapshot from the blue-line by Harry Young.
Josh Day replied for the Battalion on a power play when his shot from the top of the left face-off circle deflected off Windsor centre Scott Timmins and caught a surprised Andrew Engelage off guard in Windsor's net.
Loktionov, with his second of the game, league play-off scoring leader Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique also scored before the end of the first period to put the Spitfires, the top-ranked team in the OHL all season, up 4-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Lane MacDermid, Eric Wellwood and former Battalion Conor O'Donnell had Windsor's other goals. Despite the game's lopsided score, there was little emotion or physical play in the game. The contest featured two fights and there was little interaction after whistles.
Battalion netminder Thomas McCollum, the first round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008, was pulled in the second period after surrendering Wellwood's goal, the Spitfires sixth of the game on their 25th shot.
He was replaced by Patrick Killeen, who gave up four goals, including all three of Shugg's in the third period.
The pair of Brampton goaltenders combined for 34 saves while Engelage, made 22 stops in picking up the win.
Shugg said that his offensive outburst was in part due to criticism of his play by Windsor coaches.
"They've been on me a but and told me that I had to step up my game, which I think I was able to do tonight," said the former first round pick of the Oshawa Generals who was traded to Windsor last season. "In the playoffs especially, you have to come to the rink ready to play every night or someone is going to step up and take your job. And I don't want anyone to take my job."
Shugg had only two post-season goals heading into the game.
The series continues Friday night in Brampton.