After torching the rival London Knights on Thursday night, Windsor Spitfires defenceman Ryan Ellis found out firsthand that being the OHL scoring leader might mean a few more bumps and bruises.
The 17-year-old seized the league scoring lead with a penalty-shot goal and four assists before taking a vicious cross-check in the third period of the Spitfires' 7-4 win over the Knights.
With 8:38 left in the game, Ellis was belted after the whistle by six-foot-seven behemoth Mike Yovanic, kicking off a scrum that saw a pair of fights break out. Yovanic picked up a pair of misconducts, while Knights pest Akim Aliu was also thrown out after instigating a fight with Spitfires rookie Ben Dubois.
On the ensuing faceoff, Windsor's Adam Wallace and London's Garett Hunter - the son of Knights GM Mark Hunter and nephew of head coach Dale Hunter - squared off and were promptly given major penalties and 10-minute misconducts. Another fight broke out five minutes later, this one between Spitfires defenceman Mark Cundari and Knights centre Philip McRae.
The late-game tussles marred what had been an entertaining game between two of the top-ranked teams in the Canadian Hockey League. Ellis passed teammate Taylor Hall for top spot in the OHL scoring race, looking to become the first defenceman to win the scoring title since the late Bryan Fogarty had 155 points for the Niagara Falls Thunder in 1988-89.
Defenceman Rob Kwiet led the way with three goals for the Spitfires (16-1-0-0), who won their 10th straight game and extended the best start in the franchise's 34-year history.
In other Ontario Hockey League action Thursday, it was: Peterborough 4, Ottawa 3; Brampton 4, Kingston 3; Barrie 3, Kitchener 1; and Niagara 3, Guelph 1.
At Windsor, Ont., Ellis was awarded a second-period penalty shot when former Aliu, a former Spitfire, threw his stick at 15:36 of the second period. Aliu, a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007, finished the game with four minors, a major, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
Conor O'Donnell, with his first two goals of the season, and Greg Nemisz were the other goal-scorers for Windsor, the top-ranked team in the CHL. Hall added two assists.
The win was the Spitfires' second in two games against the rival Knights this season. Windsor beat London 4-2 at the John Labatt Centre on Sept. 26.
Jason Guy and Michael Zador combined to stop 54 shots for the Knights (10-4-0-1), who lost for the first time in six games. Thursday's defeat also marked the first time in 10 games that London failed to record at least a point.
Team scoring leader Nazim Kadri had two power-play goals and an assist to pace the Knights, while McRae and Phil Varon had London's other goals. Defenceman Vladimir Roth added two assists.
Windsor's Andrew Engelage made 28 saves en route to picking up his up his league-leading 13th win of the season.
Petes 4, 67's 3
At Peterborough, Ont., Tony Romano's game winner lifted the Petes past Ottawa.
Brett Theberge, Zack Kassian and Pat Daley added singles for Peterborough (7-10-0-0).
Cory Cowick, Ryan Martindale and Jon Carnevale scored for the 67's (8-8-0-0).
Battalion 4, Frontenacs 3
At Brampton, Ont., Jason Dale's goal 7:16 into the third period stood as the game winner, leading the Battalion to their sixth win in a row.
Evgeny Grachev scored twice and Craig Moore added a goal for Brampton (8-6-0-0).
Josh Brittain, Zack Fenwick and Nathan Moon replied for Kingston (4-9-2-0).
Colts 3, Rangers 1
At Barrie, Ont., Peter Di Salvo turned aside 31 shots to lead the Colts past Kitchener.
Andrew Clouthier, Stefan Della Rovere and Mitch Lebar scored for Barrie (7-7-1-0).
Christian Stevens had the only goal for the Rangers (7-6-0-1), who lost their fourth in a row.
IceDogs 3, Storm 1
At St. Catharines, Ont., Alex Friesen and Andrew Shaw scored second-period goals as the IceDogs beat Guelph.
Andrew Agozzino had the other goal for Niagara (5-7-1-4).
Travis Gibbons provided the lone offence for the Storm (10-6-1-0).