Reigning Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires opened the 2017-2018 Ontario Hockey League season the same way they ended the 2016-2017 campaign — with a victory.
With 14 newcomers in the lineup — including nine players skating in their first OHL game — the Spitfires slipped past the Saginaw Spirit 3-1.
Two goals in the final two minutes of the third period gave the Spitfires the Thursday night triumph on home ice.
“It’s nice to get the first (win) out of the way and even better for the young guys to get their first win at home and feel the atmosphere,” said Spitfires centre Luke Kutkevicius, who tallied the game-winning goal on the power play.
Memorial Cup hero Michael DiPietro turned aside 26 shots in the Windsor net.
PHOTO: Windsor Spitfires goalie Michael DiPietro thwarts Saginaw Spirit rookie forward Blade Jenkins. (Photo by Postmedia.)