Despite being the top-ranked team in the Ontario Hockey League, the Windsor Spitfires are having a hard time getting it going early in games.
Austin Watson scored his first career OHL hat trick and Windsor recovered from a 2-0 first-period deficit to beat the Ottawa 67's 8-5 on Thursday.
"It's been the same old story for us far too many times this year. Guys are complacent heading into a game and take teams too lightly," Windsor head coach Bob Boughner said. "Sometimes our guys don't start playing until they realize that they are in for a battle."
The 67's (2-6-3) went up 2-0 on first-period goals by Anthony Nigro and Dalton, before the Spitfires (8-3-1) exploded for six unanswered in the second and outshot the visitors 18-3.
Watson and Scott Timmins both scored twice, with singles going to Austen Brassard and Greg Nemisz.
Elsewhere in the OHL Thursday, it was: Guelph 6 Peterborough 3; Sarnia 3 Barrie 2; and Mississauga-St. Michael's 4 Owen Sound 3 (SO).
At Windsor, Ont., the 67's scored three late goals in the third period on markers by Ryan Martindale, Thomas Nesbitt and Jon Carnevale to make things interesting after Watson seemingly put the game out of reach for the Spitfires with his third.
WIndsor's Adam Henrique scored his ninth goal of the season into an empty net.
Troy Passingham made 19 saves for the Spitfires while Chris Perugini made 33 saves in a losing effort for the 67's.
Storm 6 Petes 3
At Peterborough, Ont., Michael Latta and Matt Kennedy each scored twice as the Guelph Storm doubled the Peterborough Petes.
Sting 3 Colts 2
At Sarnia, Ont., Jordan Hill scored the tiebreaking game-winner in the third period and Adam Courchaine made 33 saves as the Sting upset the Barrie Colts.
IceDogs 4 Attack 3 (SO)
At St. Catharines, Ont., Owen Sound's Scott Stajcer made 43 saves but it wasn't enough as the Attack lost in the shootout to the Niagara IceDogs.