Aaron Luchuk of the Windsor Spitfires. (Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson via OHL Images)

Spitfires Beat Spirit 4-3 in Regular Season Finale

Aaron Luchuk scored twice as the Windsor Spitfires beat the Spirit in Saginaw Saturday night 4-3.

The Spitfires conclude the regular season in fifth place in the OHL Western Conference with 90 points, and they now await the outcome of Sunday’s games involving the London Knights, Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  The Spitfires will open the playoffs on the road against one of those teams with the matchup becoming known late Sunday afternoon.

The Spitfires had the only penalty kill of the first period, thanks to Mikhail Sergachev and Cristiano DiGiacinto going to the box at 5:39 and giving Saginaw a four-on-three advantage.  Nevertheless,  Luchuk was able to score shorthanded to put the Spits up first.  Saginaw tied the game later in the period on a goal by C.J. Garcia.  Windsor, however, took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room for first intermission when DiGiacinto found the net.

Luchuk struck again in the second period when his 28th goal of the season extended the Windsor lead to 3-1.  Sergachev went to the box again for the Spitfires later in the period and Windsor paid the price when Saginaw’s Markus Niemelainen scored his second goal of the year.

Jeremy Bracco got a goal back for Windsor as the third period got underway, but Niemelainen scored his second goal of the game less than two minutes later.

Michael DiPietro played the first half of the game in goal for the Spits with Mario Culina taking over midway through the second period.  Together they had a total of 46 saves.  Evan Cormier had 22 saves in goal for Saginaw, who finishes the season out of the playoffs in ninth place with 63 points.