(WINDSOR, ON) – Despite the return of a number of familiar faces, the new-look Windsor Spitfires returned to OHL regular season play last night against the visiting Erie Otters. The new jumbo Tron was introduced to the 5,418 fans and recorded a 4-1 win for Windsor.
Entering his second season with the Spitfires, Amherstburg’s Mike DiPietro got the start in goal and made 18 saves for the win. The 17 year-old is draft eligible this year and GM Warren Rychel has great expectations for the young net minder.
“He’s the real deal back there,” Rychel told the OHL’s Josh Sweetland. “I’ve been watching him since he was 10-years-old when he played Triple-A with my son. His compete level and his fitness level are both off the charts. He has the trust of his teammates and we feel good with him in the crease.”
Erie’s Shaun Bily opened the scoring with their only goal of the game at the 8:53 mark of the 1st period. Bily snapped a shot from an odd angle to the left of DiPietro. However, Cole Carter tied the score less than a minute later when he scored unassisted on the penalty kill.
Luke Boka then helped Windsor take the lead shortly before the period was over when he set up Cole Purboo with his first OHL goal at 18:25. Carter and Boka then found Aaron Luchuk on the doorstep 40 seconds before the buzzer sounded, much to the relief of the Otters.
After skating through a scoreless 2nd period, Carter earned his 3rd point of the night when he combined with newcomer Mike Baird to feed Hayden McCool at 16:52 of the 3rd.
Jake Lawr took the loss for Erie as he faced 29 shots between the pipes.
Luchuk was named 1st star of the game as Carter and Boka grabbed the other two spots.
Windsor travels to Sault Ste Marie tonight to face the Greyhounds. They return home for a rematch with the Soo next Thursday at 7:00pm.