Spitfires Skin Otters In Home Opener

Shalapata-Header(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.

Windsor's Austin McEneny (5) watches as Mike DiPietro gets set to make a stop on an Erie shot. DiPietro make 18 save for a 4-1 win against Erie on 22 September 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s Austin McEneny (5) watches as Mike DiPietro gets set to make a stop on an Erie shot. DiPietro make 18 save for a 4-1 win against Erie on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

“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.

Windsor's third-year captain, Patrick Sanvido (2), watches as Cole Carter (22) avoids a check by Erie centre Shaun Bily (23) during a game on 22 September 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s third-year captain, Patrick Sanvido (2), watches as Cole Carter (22) avoids a check by Erie centre Shaun Bily (23) during a game on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

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.

Hayden McCool (27) looks for he open man from deep in the Erie zone. McCool scored in the 3rd period as Windsor worked for a 4-1 win over the Otters on 22 September 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Hayden McCool (27) looks for he open man from deep in the Erie zone. McCool scored in the 3rd period as Windsor worked for a 4-1 win over the Otters on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

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.

Windsor's Tyler Nother attempts to tie up Taylor Egan of Erie deep in the Windsor zone, on 22 September 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s Tyler Nother attempts to tie up Taylor Egan of Erie deep in the Windsor zone, on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor's Cristiano DiGiacinto (96) works to get his stick on the puck against Erie on 22 September 2016.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s Cristiano DiGiacinto (96) works to get his stick on the puck against Erie on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

The Windsor Spitfires line up under the new jumbo Tron on 22 September 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

The Windsor Spitfires line up under the new jumbo Tron on 22 September 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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