WINDSOR, Ont. - The Windsor Spitfires couldn't have asked for a much better start to their Memorial Cup tournament.
The Spitfires came flying out of the gate on Friday at WFCU Centre, going on to defeat the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs 3-2.
"I thought I had a really good start," said Windsor goaltender Michael DiPietro on Saturday. "We came out strong and we came out fast. I think it was all of the excitement we built up inside of us. As the game progressed we just kept it at that level and then translated it into a win."
The only real significant issue for the Spits was closing the game out. Saint John applied some steady offensive pressure in the final five minutes, scoring twice and nearly tying the game in the final minute.
"We haven't really been in that situation in a while and I think it was good for us that we did finally close it out," said DiPietro, who made 20 saves in the victory. "It was a good learning experience. We move on from it. Our focus is on Seattle."
The Spits take on the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds tonight at 8 p.m.
Getty Images has some cool photos from Friday's Sea Dogs Memorial Cup opener against Windsor. Check them out here.
ON A ROLL
The Spitfires are on a serious roll when it comes to Memorial Cup games. The team has now won nine straight games at the tournament, dating back to 2009 in Rimouski. Windsor went 4-2 at the '09 event and then went 4-0 in 2010 to win back-to-back titles.
WHAT A SAVE
This Michael DiPietro save off Spencer Smallman in the first period of Friday's game was really something.
SAINT JOHN GOALS
Sportsnet has video of both of Saint John's third period goals, which came from Nathan Noel and Thomas Chabot.
Nathan Noel fires one in to get the @SJSeaDogs on the board.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 20, 2017
Watch the #MCMemorialCup on SN NOW: https://t.co/vMsgyF5Mcz pic.twitter.com/C5qBdIS3yt
ATTENDANCEThe puck bounces off a few players and Chabot brings the @SJSeaDogs within one.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 20, 2017
Watch the #MCMemorialCup on SN NOW: https://t.co/vMsgyF5Mcz pic.twitter.com/w9h7YmBhtm
There hasn't been a whole lot of talk about it, but there has yet to be a packed house at the WFCU Centre for this year's tournament. There were pockets of empty seats for Friday's game and several empty rows up high in the corners. Saturday's crowd was even smaller.
CTV Atlantic has a story on New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant writing a letter to the QMJHL and requesting a name change to involve the Maritime clubs.