With just a few weeks left in the 2022-23 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) regular season, the Windsor Spitfires are limping into the playoffs. However, despite their issues, they’re still finding ways to stay in the Western Conference title race as they grabbed four big points on the weekend.
Battling for the conference title is difficult under the best circumstances. Every team is going to give you a playoff-style battle, regardless of their place in the standings. For the last two months, the Spitfires have also dealt with numerous injuries that never seem to end. While adversity isn’t necessarily welcomed, the club is taking every game in stride. This past weekend, their leaders stepped up in a short lineup and showed that the team isn’t going anywhere. Here are three takeaways from their four-point weekend.
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3 Takeaways From Storm and Rangers
Fri., Mar. 10 – 7-4 win at Guelph Storm
Sat., Mar. 11 – 6-3 win v. Kitchener Rangers
3. Wright, Maggio, and Christopoulos Stepping Up
Injuries have been an ongoing issue since late November. Forwards Shane Wright (Seattle Kraken), Oliver Peer, Brett Harrison (Boston Bruins), Ryan Abraham, and AJ Spellacy, plus defenceman Daniil Sobolev (Montreal Canadiens) and goaltender Matt Onuska have all seen time on the sidelines. Fortunately, Sobolev, Wright, Onuska, and Peer have since returned, but the club has still scrambled to put regular forward lines together. When life gets tough, though, the veterans step up.
The club called up forward Jackson McLlwain from Junior B to give them 10 forwards, but it was their veterans that took control. On Friday, forwards Alex Christopoulos and Jacob Maillet combined for seven points while Wright added another three. Saturday was a similar story as Wright scored a hat-trick while captain Matthew Maggio (New York Islanders) added four points, inching closer to 50 goals (49) and surpassing the 100-point mark (103). Even defenceman-turned-forward Rodwin Dionicio added three assists in the effort.
While Maggio and Dionicio have been mainstays in the lineup, Wright was injured for much of February. Getting him back into the lineup full-time is a huge boost, not only for the club’s offence but his own confidence. He now has 27 points in 14 games since joining the Spitfires on Jan. 9.
“I’m feeling good,” he said on Saturday. “It’s…
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