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2008–09 Windsor Spitfires season

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The Windsor Spitfires finished the 2008–09 season with 57 wins, 10 losses, and 1 shootout loss.[1] This marked their best season in franchise history. With the first overall record in the Ontario Hockey League the Spitfires were awarded the Hamilton Spectator Trophy.[1] The Spitfires also played their final games in the Windsor Arena.[2]

The Spitfires were undefeated at home in the Old Barn during the 2008–09 season. Mid-season they moved to the WFCU Centre. The Spitfires and their new arena played host to the 2009 All-Star Game.[3] On May 12, Goalie Andrew Engelage broke the OHL record for most wins by a goaltender in a single season with 46 with a 5-1 win over the Plymouth Whalers.[4]

Season standingsEdit

Western Conference Edit

Midwest Division GP W L OTL SL Pts GF GA Rank
y-London Knights 68 49 16 1 2 101 287 194 2
x-Guelph Storm 68 35 26 4 3 77 226 209 6
x-Erie Otters 68 34 29 3 2 73 231 239 7
x-Owen Sound Attack 68 26 27 7 8 67 226 258 8
Kitchener Rangers 68 26 37 3 2 57 208 254 9

West Division GP W L OTL SL Pts GF GA Rank
z-Windsor Spitfires 68 57 10 0 1 115 311 171 1
x-Saginaw Spirit 68 36 24 4 4 80 235 219 3
x-Plymouth Whalers 68 37 26 5 0 79 253 244 4
x-Sarnia Sting 68 35 26 4 3 77 216 210 5
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 68 19 45 2 2 42 172 290 10


Scoring leaders Edit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Taylor Hall 6338529060
Ryan Ellis 5722678957


Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses: OTL = Overtime losses; SL = Shootout losses; GA = Goals allowed; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Andrew Engelage Windsor Spitfires 543086 46 4 0 1 121 50.9142.35


In the first round of the playoffs, the Spitfires defeated the Owen Sound Attack, taking the series in four games.[6] In the next round, the club played the Plymouth Whalers. After trading off road wins, then trading off home wins, Windsor took Games 5 and 6 to clinch the series.[7] In the Western Conference final, Windsor played the London Knights. Led by John Tavares, every game in the series went to overtime, but the Spitfires were victorious and won the series 4-games-to-1 to earn a berth to the OHL Final and take the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Conference champions.[8]

The OHL Final began with a 10-1 victory for the Spitfires over the Eastern Conference's Brampton Battalion. The Battalion fought back in Game 3, winning 4-2. Game 4 belonged to the Spitfires as they took a 4-1 win and a 3-1 series lead. In Game 5, Windsor took a 1-0 lead midway through the second period on the power play. Brampton tied the game up late in the third period to force overtime. At 2:09 of the first overtime period, Taylor Hall scored on the power play to win the Spitfires their second J. Ross Robertson Cup as league champions and a berth into the 2009 Memorial Cup.[9] The victory was the Spitfires' first league title since the 1987–88 OHL season and marked their second time playing for the Memorial Cup.[10] On May 9, Mayor of Windsor Eddie Francis awarded the team with the Key to the City in honour of their achievement.[11]

First roundEdit

Windsor vs. Owen Sound
Date Away Home
March 18 Owen Sound 4 7 Windsor
March 20 Windsor 7 5 Owen Sound
March 22 Owen Sound 1 6 Windsor
March 25 Windsor 6 3 Owen Sound
Windsor wins series 4-0

Conference semifinalsEdit

Windsor vs. Plymouth
Date Away Home
April 2 Plymouth 6 3 Windsor
April 4 Windsor 8 2 Plymouth
April 5 Plymouth 1 8 Windsor
April 7 Windsor 2 3 Plymouth
April 9 Plymouth 2 5 Windsor
April 11 Windsor 4 2 Plymouth
Windsor wins series 4–2

Conference finalsEdit

Windsor vs. London
Date Away Home
April 15 London 3 4 Windsor (OT)
April 17 Windsor 5 6 London (OT)
April 19 London 4 5 Windsor (OT)
April 20 (OT) Windsor 5 London 4
April 22 London 3 4 Windsor (OT)
Windsor wins series 4-1

League FinalEdit

Windsor vs. Brampton
Date Away Home
April 29 Brampton 1 10 Windsor
May 1 Windsor 5 3 Brampton
May 4 Brampton 4 2 Windsor
May 6 Windsor 4 1 Brampton
May 8 Brampton 1 2 Windsor (OT)
Windsor wins series 4-1

Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. In a do-or-die game, the Spitfires won the final game of the round robin 2-1 over the Kelowna Rockets to gain entry to the tie-breaker game.[12]

In the tie-breaker, Windsor defeated the hometown Océanic 6-4 powered by a third period natural hat-trick by Dale Mitchell.[13] The tournament semi-final was between the Spitfires and the Voltigeurs. The Spitfires blew an early 2-0 lead, but won 3-2 in overtime of a goal by Adam Henrique[14] to become the second team ever to play in the Memorial Cup final after playing in the tie-breaker game.[15]

In the final, the Spitfires again played the Rockets. The Spitfires scored on their first three shots and cruised to a 4-1 win to take their first ever Memorial Cup championship. Their victory marked the first time a team started with two losses in the Memorial Cup round robin and came back to win the championship.[16] The feat also marks the first time that a team has survived the Memorial Cup tie-breaker game to win the championship.[17] The Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy was awarded to Taylor Hall as Memorial Cup playoffs most valuable player. Both Ryan Ellis and Hall were elected to the tournament's All-Star Team.[18] Throughout the Memorial Cup tournament, the Spitfires hung Mickey Renaud's jersey on their bench and the championship was won in Renaud's memory.[18]

In the aftermath of the championship, the team was met at the Windsor Airport by a large contingent of local fans and was addressed by Mayor Eddie Francis.[19] It was announced that the road to the new WFCU Centre would be renamed Memorial Cup Drive in honour of the victory.[20] |}


J. Ross Robertson Cup: Windsor Spitfires
Hamilton Spectator Trophy: Windsor Spitfires
Wayne Gretzky Trophy: Windsor Spitfires
Bumbacco Trophy: Windsor Spitfires
Matt Leyden Trophy: Bob Boughner, Windsor Spitfires
Max Kaminsky Trophy: Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires
OHL Executive of the Year: Warren Rychel, Windsor Spitfires
Wayne Gretzky 99 Award: Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires

Memorial Cup tournament awardsEdit

Award Recipient
Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player) Taylor Hall, Windsor

Memorial Cup All-Tournament teamEdit

All-Star team   Position  
Ryan Ellis, Windsor D
Taylor Hall, Windsor F

Team players drafted into the NHLEdit

Player Round Pick Team
Ryan Ellis 111 Nashville Predators



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