Windsor - Oct. 6, 2022: The Spitfire is one of the most iconic aircraft in the history of aviation. It has been immortalized in countless films, stories and television series. Not only that, it has had a further effect on culture and is still widely remembered today. Thousands of pilots lost their lives defending their countries throughout World War 2, and the Spitfire was used primarily by British, Canadian, French and American pilots. So much so that this was the inspiration behind the Windsor Spitfires naming themselves after the iconic jet.
The name Spitfires was inspired by the memory of the 417 Combat Support Squadron. During World War 2, a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron nicknamed "City of Windsor" used the Supermarine Spitfire. During this period, the Spitfires were one of the best teams in Canada, reaching the league finals on two separate occasions. Their squad was packed with talent and consisted of multiple future Hockey Hall of Fame players.
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Wayne Gretzky Trophy - Western Conference Champions 2022
The game against the Flint Firebirds at the end of last season was one of the most watched Spitfires games for several years. The Spitfires came out victorious in a huge victory that has brought the feel-good factor back. This has been the case for quite some time. The Spitfires have enjoyed a resurgence and had a
winning streak that extended to several games last season before the big win against the Flint Firebirds.
Marc Savard has hit the ground running with the Spitfires and has maybe shown a sign of what's to come as they lifted the Wayne Gretzky Western Conference championship for the first time in over a decade. Windsor's supporters hope Savard can recreate the legendary teams of 2009/10 that Bob Boughner coached.
This revival explains why the game was one of the most watched Spitfires games for a long time. Savard has them playing an exciting brand of hockey and is producing results when it matters. The fans have been starved for success for quite some time, and they'll be positive that their performances from last season will springboard them onto brighter things over the next few years.
The Spitfires teams of 2009 and 2010 were among the best hockey teams in Canada for a generation. They cleaned up several trophies during the back end of the 2000s, and the early 2010s, one of the pinnacle moments was when the team lifted the Hamilton Spectator Trophy in 2009.
Following the tragic death of Mickey Renaud in February 2008, a spirited Spitfires team went on to major glory in the following couple of years. Renaud's memory still lives strong with fans and players alike, and he has an award named after him in his honour.
The Mickey Renaud Captain's Trophy is an Ontario Hockey League award given to one captain from the league at the end of every season. When Bob Boughner took over the Spitfires in 2006, they were at a low ebb, not many people predicted what was to come over the next few years, but Boughner cemented his name into the Spitfires’ folklore.
In 2007-2008, he masterminded the Spitfires to the second-best regular season finish in their history. Rightly, he was recognised for this, and honoured with multiple coach of the year awards. Boughner proved that this was no fluke, as he replicated the same feat in the 2009 season.
The 2009 season was phenomenal as the Spitfires lifted their first championship trophy in 21 years and finished it with a staggering 115 points.
Boughner and the Spitfires weren't finished there, though. That same year, they also went on to win their first Memorial Cup.
Despite starting the tournament with two consecutive losses, they became the first team to lose the tournament's first two games and still go on to lift the trophy. Boughner's Spitfires successfully defended their Memorial Cup championship in 2010 to cement their squad into the legacy of Windsor.
We have only scratched the surface of the most watched Spitfires games, but we have explored the key moments in Windsor's history and the golden period of 2009/10. Hopefully, there will be a few more big games on the horizon, given that Windsor looks like they're experiencing a revival.