Many more games like this and they will have to rename the OHL's West Division as the wild West Division.
Sunday afternoon at Sarnia's RBC Centre, division rivals Sarnia Sting and Windsor Spitfires engaged in an old-fashioned shootout with the Spitfires coming out on top, 8-7 in -- appropriately enough -- an overtime shootout.
"It wasn't pretty … I guess it's pretty for the fans, but for us it was chaos in the second period," said Sting coach Trevor Letowski, following the game.
"It was back and forth … pretty loose out there," said Letowski, adding, "I was happy … we were able to scrounge a point out of that."
There were lots of flashy offensive skills on display throughout the game as each team seemed determined to outgun the other rather than focus on shutting their opponent down.
A total of six goals were scored in the first period, with Windsor holding leads of 1-0 and 2-1, while the Sting battled back to tie the game each time, then held a 3-2 lead, briefly, before the Spits deadlocked the score again, late in the period.
The Spitfires roared out of the gates in the second period, scoring three times in the first two-and-a-half minutes to seemingly take a stranglehold.
But the Sting chipped away, scoring a couple of quick goals, just before and after the period's seven-minute mark, then tying things up (on the game's only power play goal) when Davis Brown roofed a wrist shot home at 15:16. Remarkably, the Sarnia then scored for the fourth straight time in the period, when Josh Chapman got his first of the year at 19:50, to give Sarnia a 7-6 lead after 40 minutes.
Things settled down a bit in the third. Although there were still scoring chances for each team, Windsor star Josh Ho-Sang was the only player to score, completing a hat trick with his game-tying goal at 2:01.
After a scoreless overtime period (in which each team, once again had some great scoring chances), Ho-Sang then got the shootout winner. He was one of two Spitfires to score -- Sam Povorozniouk was the other -- while Nikita Korostelev was the only Sting shooter to succeed.
The Sting were outshot, 45-36, in the game and, despite giving up seven goals, Sting goalie Taylor Dupuis also made several excellent saves.
"He fought hard for us out there," said Letowski, in explaining why he didn't remove Dupuis at some point. "To me, that's his best trait, he's a fighter."
Anthony DeAngelo had two goals for the Sting, while fellow defencemen Jimmy McDowell, Kevin Spinozzi and Chapman each had one. Brown and Vladislav Kodola also scored for Sarnia.
Trevor Murphy also had two goals for Windsor.
The Sting wound up collecting three points in three games over three days, after starting off the weekend by getting drubbed 8-1 in London, Friday.
Sarnia is now three points behind Plymouth for the eighth, and final, playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Next week, the Sting will host Belleville on Thursday and Mississauga on Saturday. In between, they will travel to Guelph on Friday.