Majors top Spitfires in home opener

Whoever said the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors would struggle on offence must feel dumb now.

At least for one night. 

Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first two goals of the season as the Majors defeated the Windsor Spitfires 5-1 Friday night at Hershey Centre.

The Majors (2-0) exploded for four second-period goals and gave the 4,148 fans at Hershey Centre lots to cheer about for the team’s home opener.

Mississauga’s second period outburst was enough to chase Spitfires goaltender Jack Campbell after 40 minutes. Josh Malecki came in for the third period and stopped all seven shots he faced.

Windsor (2-3) managed only 19 shots on goal and was obviously feeling the ill effects of losing Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique to the pros.

Mississauga got goals from Smith-Pelly, captain Casey Cizikas, Alex Cord and Brett Flemming.

The Spitfires’ lone goal came from captain Ryan Ellis, who scored on a wrist shot from the point early in the second period.

Ellis, who has played for Team Canada in the last two world junior hockey championships, was otherwise ineffective, registering a minus-three rating, the worst from both teams.

Justin Shugg had a good outing against his former club in adding two helpers and now has four points in his first two games.

Windsor’s frustration boiled over near the end of the game as Andrew Clouthier jumped a helpless Gregg Sutch, resulting in a fight between the two and a game misconduct and instigator penalty for Clouthier.

Majors specialty is defence

Mississauga’s defence core played a solid game and limited Windsor to only a handful of quality chances.

The Majors got an offensive push from their back end, with Cord and Flemming contributing with goals up front.

Windsor’s rookie Alexander Khokhlachev, who was leading the league in rookie scoring with six points in his first four games, was targeted and held off the scoresheet and registered a minus-one rating.

Goaltender Anderson registered his second straight one-goal game and stopped 18 shots for the win.

Special teams working for Mississauga

Not to be overlooked in the defensive gem was a solid game from the Majors’ power play. Mississauga had confidence with the man-advantage, going two-for-three with the extra man.

The Majors’ strong offensive play allowed them to be physical and keep the Spitfires to the perimeter and outside of the key scoring areas.

Mississauga’s players were frequent visitors to the penalty box and registered five minor penalties and managed to kill off all but one.

Personal rivalries started to form as forwards Rob Flick and Kyle Tarini squared off in two separate fights, resulting in Flick being escorted to the dressing room, much to the delight of the Hershey Centre fans.