(Windsor) Spitfires forward Eric Wellwood scored 10:14 into overtime, leading Windsor to a 4-3 win over the London Knights and a four games to one series win in the best of seven Rogers Western Conference Championship final. The Windsor Spitfires will await the winner of the Eastern Conference Championship series between the Belleville Bulls and Brampton Battalion. Brampton currently holds a three games to one series lead.
The Spitfires also announced that tickets for the OHL Championship series will go on sale starting this Saturday at 10 am. Tickets can be purchased at the Spitfire and Firkin box office of the WFCU Centre, by phone at (519) 254-5000 ext. 1 or online at www.windsorspitfires.com.
The Windsor Spitfires are going to be playing in the OHL Championship Series for the first time in 20 years after Eric Wellwood scored in overtime to lift the Spitfires to a 4-3 win over the London Knights in Game 5 of the Rogers OHL Western Conference Championship on Wednesday.
The Spitfires won the series 4-1 to claim the Wayne Gretzky Trophy and advance to the Rogers OHL Championship Series against the winner of the Eastern Conference championship between the Brampton Battalion and Belleville Bulls.
John Tavares opened the scoring on a powerplay in the final minute of the first period and the Knights jumped to a two goal lead when Leigh Salters counted on a powerplay 24 seconds into the second period.
Taylor Hall and Lane MacDermid replied with goals 35 seconds apart later in the second period to tie the game.
Zac Rinaldo put the Knights ahead again late in the second period with his first goal of the playoffs but Harry Young tied the game midway through the third period to set up Wellwood’s game-winner 10:14 into overtime.
“The puck was right in the middle of the slot and I got lucky,” said Wellwood, who also scored the overtime winner in Game 3. “It came right to me and I put it in the back of the net.”
All five games in the series went into overtime.
“It’s amazing that every game went to overtime. There were leads lost, there were comebacks - I don’t know what else you’d want in a series. The London Knights are a heck of a hockey team. Obviously they are well coached and they were in every game. It could have went either way. We found a way to win.”
Andrew Engelage made 41 saves for the win and Trevor Cann was back in the London net after missing Game 4. Cann made 50 saves in the loss.
“It was two evenly matched teams and when you go to five overtimes, anyone can win,” said Knights’ coach Dale Hunter. “It’s a credit to both teams. They didn’t quit and we didn’t quit. We didn’t get the bounces. They played hard and I can’t say enough about them.”
The Battalion lead the Bulls 3-1 in the Eastern Conference final and can wrap up the series with a win in Belleville on Thursday.(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)