You could not have scripted a better debut for Philip Tomasino. The 18-year-old forward scored two goals and added three assists to lead his new Ontario Hockey League team, the Oshawa Generals, to a 6-3 victory over the Spitfires in Windsor on Thursday night.
Tomasino, a Mississauga native, was acquired on Wednesday from the Niagara IceDogs in a massive deal. Oshawa sent six second round draft picks, a third round pick, two fourth round picks and the rights to David Guicciardi to Niagara for Tomasino’s services.
Tomasino assisted on the first three Generals goals on Thursday. He then scored his first in an Oshawa uniform to make it 5-3 late in the third period by streaking down the left wing and shooting a slick backhand that beat Windsor goalie Xavier Medina high on the short side. Tomasino capped off the night by scoring into an empty net.
The Nashville Predators NHL prospect now has 24 goals and 62 points in 37 OHL games this season.
“Everyone has been so welcoming and I kinda learned the systems as the game went on,” said Tomasino after the victory. “Just a great win obviously against a pretty hot Windsor team right now. It’s nice to get that first game under the belt with the win.”
Another Generals newcomer, goalie Jordan Kooy, made 30 saves to win his Oshawa debut. Kooy, a 19-year-old prospect of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was acquired Tuesday from the Sarnia Sting in exchange for a second round draft pick, a fifth round pick and a conditional third round pick.
TULLIO RETURNS HOME
The Generals trailed 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after the second. But it was the “hometown kid” that started the comeback. Ty Tullio scored his 17th of the season just 1:31 into the third period, the first of five unanswered goals by Oshawa to pull out the victory and snap a four-game losing skid. “It’s always a great feeling to come home,” admitted Tullio, who grew up in Lakeshore. The 17-year-old forward estimated more than 50 family members and friends were at Thursday’s game in Windsor. “Being able to play in front of my friends and family is awesome,” said Tullio.
SPITFIRES STREAKS SNAPPED
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for the Spitfires. It was also the first time Windsor lost a game when leading after 40 minutes. The Spitfires were 14-0-0 when heading into the third period with a lead. Rookie Wyatt Johnston scored just 38 seconds into the game. Brett Neumann scored his 30th of the season on the power play to tie the game in the second period but Curtis Douglas, a Dallas Stars NHL prospect, scored twice to send Windsor into the dressing room with a 3-1 lead.
But then Tullio scores early in the third and on the very next shift, Windsor gets a penalty. Allan McShane, a Montreal Canadiens NHL prospect, would score his 16th goal on the ensuing power play and the game was tied 3-3. Less than four minutes later, Brett Harrison was left all alone in front of the Windsor goal and scored on a pass from behind the net to make it 4-3. Tomasino finished the scoring for the Generals. Windsor head coach Trevor Letowski said third period mistakes cost them after they played so well and dictated the game through the first 40 minutes.
“It was just a series of errors that really cost us,” said Letowski. “It was a game that we let get away which we haven’t done that a lot so we’ll try to learn from that.”
The Spitfires outshot the Generals in every period, including 10-7 in the final frame. Final shots were 33-20 in favour of Windsor.
Oshawa went 2-for-2 on the power play. Windsor was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
While the Generals have been busy prior to the OHL trade deadline, the Spitfires have not made a move as of Thursday’s game.
The Windsor Spitfires will play two more games this weekend against teams who have been active before the OHL trade deadline.
Windsor will play in Flint at 7 p.m. on Saturday before facing off against the Rangers in Kitchener at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Generals meanwhile play in Sarnia at 7:05 p.m. on Friday before returning home to face the Peterborough Petes at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Manny Paiva is an award winning broadcaster with 25 years of radio and television experience and has covered the Ontario Hockey League since 1991.
Follow Manny on twitter at @paivatheway