Windsor Spitfires will play their first game since April 4 tonight when the Memorial Cup hosts take to the ice to begin the 99th edition of the time honoured tournament.
The Spitfires have not played since they lost Game 7 of the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs to the London Knights.
Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs will provide the opposition for the Spitfires tonight in a 7 p.m. scheduled start at Windsor’s WFCU Centre.
While the Spitfires have been idle from game action for more than six weeks, the upside is that the time off has allowed injuries to key players such as defenseman Logan Stanley and centre Logan Brown to heal.
Stanley has been sidelined since mid January following knee surgery while Brown suffered a groin pull near the end of the regular season and was noticeably hampered during the first round of the playoffs. Both players were first-round picks at the 2016 National Hockey League draft.
Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson said Stanley and Brown are now fully healthy.
“Our team is automatically better now than we were when we played London (in the first round of the playoffs),”said Thompson said. “We are in a better place now than we were then.”
PHOTO: Windsor Spitfires star centre Logan Brown has had time to heal his injured groin. (Photo by Terry Wilson.)