Spitfires use three-goal first period to defeat Thunderbirds


WINDSOR, ONT. – Three goals in 38 seconds in the first period proved to be the difference as the Windsor Spitfires flew past the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-1 at the WFCU Centre on Sunday.

With the win, the Spitfires (2-0) book their ticket to the semifinal game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Friday. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds (0-2) will wrap up the round robin portion of the tournament against the Saint John Sea Dogs on Tuesday.

Graham Knott  and Julius Nattinen each scored a pair of goals for the Spitfires, while Logan Brown, Jeremiah Addison and Jeremy Bracco added single markers.

Keegan Kolesar had the lone goal for the Thunderbirds.

Windsor jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period with goals by Knott (4:48), Nattinen and Brown, chasing Thunderbirds rookie netminder Carl Stankowski

The Thunderbirds cut the Spitfires lead to two at 13:34 of the second period with a goal by Kolesar, but Windsor regained the three goal lead shortly after with Nattinen firing home his second goal of the game.

Windsor continued to find the back of the net in the third period with Knott making the score 5-1 just 33 seconds into the the period. Addison extended the lead at 3:48 of the period. Bracco would add another goal for the Spitfires later in the period, making the score 7-1.

Michael DiPietro made 24 saves in the win for Windsor. Stankowski allowed three goals on six shots, before being replaced by Rylan Toth, who stopped 18 of 22 shots in his 54:34 of relief. Stankowski was tagged with the loss.

The MasterCard Memorial Cup will continue on Monday with the Ontario Hockey League champion Erie Otters (1-0) playing the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs (0-1) at 7 p.m. EST.