WINDSOR, Ont. - Justin Shugg scored thee goals and added two assists as the Windsor Spitfires won their first game of the Ontario Hockey League season Thursday, routing the Erie Otters 8-3.
The Spitfires (1-1-1) were sluggish following a pre-game ceremony that saw the 2009 OHL and Memorial Cup championship banners raised to the rafters of the WFCU Centre. They allowed goals on Erie's first two shots of the game, and trailed 3-2 after 20 minutes.
While pleased with the victory, Windsor general manager Warren Rychel said that his team had room for improvement.
"Tonight showed that we should be able to score a lot of goals this season, but we still have to improve our work in goal and on defence," he said. "We didn't allow a goal in the third period tonight, so that was good."
Shugg scored twice in the second period to complete his hat trick and spark a six-goal Spitfires outburst over the final two periods.
Windsor overage netminder Josh Unice had to leave the game midway through the first period with an injury.
"It's his knee, and he could be out for a month," Rychel said. "We'll know more in a day or two."
Rookie netminder Troy Passingham replaced Unice in the Windsor net.
Richard Panek, the Spits' import pick in 2008, scored the first two goals of his OHL career and overager Scott Timmins, who returned a day earlier from the training camp of the Florida Panthers, contributed a goal and two assists. Austin Watson and Michael Whaley had Windsor's other goals.
Anthony Luciani had two goals to lead the Otters (1-1-1), with Andrew Yogan adding a single.
Shane Owen made 46 saves in a losing cause for Erie while Unice and Passingham combined to stop 34 shots in the victory.