BRAMPTON, Ont. - Andrew Engelage repelled a tenacious Brampton Battalion attack and helped the Windsor Spitfires move within a victory of winning the Ontario Hockey League title.
Engelage stopped 40 of 41 shots and Andrei Loktionov scored twice as the Spitfires skated to a 4-1 win over the Brampton Battalion Wednesday night, taking a 3-1 lead in the OHL championship series.
"He's been getting better as we go deeper in the playoffs and that's exactly what we need," Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner said of Engelage.
Engelage had to be at his best Wednesday, as the Battalion outshot the Spitfires 41-38.
"It's not very often that we give up that many shots in a game but our guys up front were able to take care of the offence," Engelage said.
The Spitfires responded form a loss at home in Game 3 on Monday that gave Brampton some life in the series.
"We were disappointed to lose the last game at home that's for sure," said Boughner. "We were able to bounce back and get the job done tonight."
Game 5 goes Friday night in Windsor, Ont.
Ben Shutron opened the scoring 9:17 into the game, his point shot sneaking past Battalion netminder Thomas McCollum. That score held until the 15:45 mark of the second period, when Scott Timmins tipped Mark Cundari's shot from the blue-line into the Brampton goal.
Cody Hodgson brought the Battalion to within a goal at 18:21 of the second, scoring on a breakaway and giving some life to the record Brampton crowd of 4,861.
The Spitfires regained control of the game in the third period, with Loktionov scoring twice to put things out of reach.
"I thought our guys played hard today so I really can't fault them," Battalion head coach Stan Butler said.
"We fought really hard out there," Hodgson added. "We're not going to hang our heads. We need to come out strong on Friday."
The Battalion were deprived of the services of forward Evgeny Grachev, who missed the game with what was described as "flu-like symptons."
Windsor defencemen Ryan Ellis and Rob Kwiet both left the game at different points due to collisions but both returned, much to the relief of Boughner.
"They are ultra-competitors," Boughner said. "They found ways to come back and both were strong the rest of the way."
McCollum left the game late in the third period after being run into by Dale Mitchell. Butler had trouble understanding why Mitchell was only assessed a two-minute goaltender interference and a ten-minute misconduct.
"I don't know how that's not a five-minute penalty. It is what it is I guess," Butler said.
McCollum was replaced by Patrick Killeen for the remaining 2:57 of the third period after surrendering four goals on 35 shots. Killeen stopped all three shots he faced in relief.