Whatever the reasons, the Windsor Spitfires are harder to get rid off than the last guest at a party.
It is easy to say it now that Windsor has forced a Game 7 in the OHL Western Conference final. What's striking is how people are less than flabbergasted at coach Bob Boughner's Spitfires, who did all their damage in a 20-minute span of tonight's series-tying 6-4 win, getting back on even terms with the Kitchener Rangers.
People saw this movie last year, when the Spitfires became the first CHL team to win the MasterCard Memorial Cup after playing in the tiebreaker game. You could get a thesis out of why they have ended up behind the eight-ball -- going down 3-0 in this series, losing their first two games at the national championship, and so on.
As for the comeback, the question is how much should be attributed to the concentrated power of will, how much goes to coaching and how much goes to Windsor's talent. Sometimes it takes a few games of a series for the natural order to prevail. In this case, the Spitfires had to weather an overtime loss in the series opener, a goofy goal that decided Game 3.
The other question is whether it was wrong to call a spade a spade and dig a grave for Windsor after it lost the first three games. That thinking is still defensible, despite the outcome. Simple math would suggest a team of the Rangers' quality would be able to win one game out of four.
Windsor had its own math. They even spotted the Rangers the first two goals tonight before, during the last 10 minutes of the first and first 10 of the second, pumping a half-dozen shots by Kitchener's Brandon Maxwell, including two goals from Taylor Hall and a natural hat trick by Scott Timmins, who coincidentally played for Kitchener when it almost blew a 3-0 lead against Belleville in the 2008 OHL final.
It's really hard to imagine how Kitchener can regroup to win Game 7.
- Windsor Spitfires
- Kitchener Rangers