BARRIE, Ont. -- The Windsor Spitfires showed their trademark resiliency again Tuesday night against the Barrie Colts, knotting the game 3-3 with less than three minutes to go to send Game 1 of the Ontario Hockey League final to overtime.
With Barrie's Chris Wiggin in the box for interference, Windsor forward Taylor Hall, the leading scorer in the playoffs, blasted a slapshot past Barrie goaltender Mavric Parks to win the game, 4-3. Assisting on the goal were defencemen Ryan Ellis and Cam Fowler.
The fans promptly littered the ice with boxes of macaroni that had been given to the crowd.
"I don't know why all those people were throwing away good food," Hall said. "I was tempted to take a couple boxes."
The Colts were able to keep Hall to the outside for most of the game, but he's still dangerous from almost anywhere on the ice since he's so strong on the puck.
Colts defenceman Alex Pietrangelo said his team defended Hall -- kept off the score sheet through regulation -- the best they could, but he's the type of player who can never be truly shut down.
"I thought our defence did play well against him," Pietrangelo said. "But you can't give Hall shots like that."
Hall, expected to be a top-two pick in this summer's NHL Entry Draft, made several plays to set up scoring chances, including a 2-on-1 saucer pass that hopped over his Zack Kassian's stick.
Down 3-2 late in the third, Windsor came on strong. Spitfires defenceman Mark Cundari, a Woodbridge native who celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday, wired the puck past Parks from just a few feet out. It was Cundari's second goal of the postseason, with the assist going to forward Eric Wellwood.
Game 2 will be played in Barrie on Thursday night.
Two of the top-rated teams in the Canadian Hockey League were tentative to start the game, but it soon became apparent that they are evenly matched right down their respective lineups.
But Barrie Colts head coach Marty Williamson said his team had lapses throughout the game.
"There were good parts to our game," he said. "Those are two good hockey teams out there.
"We've played good teams, but we haven't played an offensive team like that," the coach added. "It's not like they came in here and blew us out."
The goal now for the Colts is to win the next game at the Barrie Molson Centre and go back to Windsor with a split.
"The thing for us is to get our offence going and play in their zone," Pietrangelo said.
After a brief feeling-out period, the goals came in a flurry.
Barrie hometown favourite Matt Kennedy, a native of nearby Horseshoe Valley, opened the scoring seven minutes into the game, after speedster Alex Hutchings let a Stephen Gaskin slap pass from the blue-line go through his legs. The puck landed on Kennedy's stick, who quickly deposited it behind Windsor net-minder Philipp Grubauer.
Barrie went up 2-0 with four minutes to go in the first with a tip in front of the net off power-forward Kyle Clifford's stick. Getting the assist was Luke Pither.
The Spitfires stormed back less than 30 seconds later on an Adam Henrique goal, followed by a softy from Ellis, who slipped a trickler through Parks' legs.
Midway through the second, Barrie's Darren Archibald put the Colts up 3-2 on a hard slap shot from the top of the circle. Getting the assists were Tyler Carnevale and Nick Crawford.
The announced attendance was 4,296.
Among those in attendance was Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. His team is without a first-round pick in this summer's draft, but the Leafs do have two prospects playing for Windsor, including Dale Mitchell and Kenny Ryan.
Game 2 goes Thursday in Barrie at 7:35 p.m., followed by games 3 and 4 in Windsor. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m., while Game 4 is Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m.