Spitfires Pack For A Long Trip

Shalapata-Header(WINDSOR, ON) – Playing in an unusual two home games on consecutive nights, the Windsor Spitfires closed out their home dates for the next 41 days by splitting a pair of overtime decisions.

On Friday, the Spits played host to the Owen Sound Attack, dropping the game 3-2 while being severely outplayed over the 60 minutes and 36 seconds. Mike Baird and Aaron Luchuk put Windsor on the scoreboard, the latter coming at 13:48 of the 3rd period and eventually forcing OT. Mike DiPietro was pelted with 34 shots between the pipes for the Spitfires while his team mates managed just 23 against Mike McNiven and Owen Sound.

Windsor's Julius Nattinen (25) keeps a close watch on Owen Sound's Nick Suzuki (37) during a game on 18 November 2016.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s Julius Nattinen (25) keeps a close watch on Owen Sound’s Nick Suzuki (37) during a game on 18 November 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

The following evening, Gabe Vilardi sniped the winner at 4:12 of OT as Windsor eked out a 2-1 win over the Sarnia Sting. Sean Day was the other goal scorer for the Spitfires, as they upped their shots on goal to 41 on the night. Defensively, goaltender Mario Culina had an easier time in goal, facing just 19 shots for the win.

The fortunes then dipped again for Windsor as they played their first of 13 straight away games on Sunday, completing 3 matches in 4 nights. In London on Sunday, the Spitfires skated to their 3rd OT decision in a row and 4th in 5 games.

Justin Fazio gets his pad in front of an attempt by Cristiano DiGiacinto during a game on 19 November 2016.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Justin Fazio gets his pad in front of an attempt by Cristiano DiGiacinto during a game on 19 November 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

Julius Nattinen staked the Spitfires to a 2-0 lead by the end of 40 minutes, but the Knights scored the next three, including the winner just 1:53 into the sudden death period. DiPietro was given the nod by head coach Rocky Thompson and handled 24 of the 27 shots which came his way.

Windsor will remain on the road until December 29. Their next game is in Peterborough tomorrow night.

Fans don’t have to wait until almost next year to again see the Spitfires. On December 4 they will play against the Saginaw Spirit at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The special date pays tribute to the venerable arena in its last year of NHL service. It will be the first and only OHL to be played at The Joe.

A young fan displays a puck which was deposited over the glass during play against the Owen Sound Attack on 18 November 2016.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

A young fan displays a puck which was deposited over the glass during play against the Owen Sound Attack on 18 November 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