The Windsor Spitfires have fought tooth-and-nail to stay near the top of the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference early in the season. It hasn’t been an easy road by any stretch. However, the team has come together and three players, in particular, have made their presence known.
Being at the top of the standings is a challenge as you’re the hunted on a nightly-basis. Teams will bring their best and test you out at every turn. When you can bring your A-game on a consistent basis, though, it speaks volumes.
Last month, we looked at the three stars for October. Now, we take a look at three Spitfires who have upped their game and helped keep the club in contention through November.
Three Stars for November
#3 – Forward – Curtis Douglas
After a career-high 53 points in 2018-19, 6-foot-9, 235-pound Curtis Douglas spent November making sure that people know he’s on the ice.
He started the season off slow with just three points in his first eight games. However, he’s truly turned it around and November has been an effort to silence his critics.
Originally acquired by the Spitfires from the Barrie Colts in Dec. 2018, the Dallas Stars prospect has taken his game to a new level. Douglas had 13 points in 10 November games, being a constant threat in the offensive zone and backing up his teammates without hesitation. He started the month with an assist and a fight and didn’t look back.
Over the month, he went pointless in just three games – which is not an easy feat. The Spitfires will need that daily production if they want to stay near the top of the conference for much longer.
Douglas’ performance has earned him the third star for November.
#2 – Forward – Cole Purboo
After just one goal in his first nine games, 20-year-old Cole Purboo has found his scoring touch. In fact, he’s become one of the most consistent players on the roster.
Purboo had points in 9-of-10 games last month, good for 8 goals and 11 points. It has catapulted him to second on the team in scoring with 25 points, just four behind team-leader Tyler Angle.
He’s also strong along the boards and a fixture in front of the net, using his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame to stay with the play regardless of the situation.
After being the Spitfires’ ninth-round pick in 2015, he’s in his final season in the league. While Purboo hit the 29-goal mark last season, he’d be thrilled to reach that magical 30 before the final buzzer. What a great way to end your junior career!
It’s been a welcomed start for the Spitfires’ veteran, finally finding that regular high-level play that he’s been seeking. If he keeps this up, the pros could be right around the corner.
Purboo has been named the second star for November.
#1 – Defenceman – Connor Corcoran
While defensive stars like the London Knights’ Ryan Merkley or the Erie Otters’ Jamie Drysdale get plenty of publicity, Spitfires’ defenceman Connor Corcoran is quietly putting himself into the mix.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Vegas Golden Knights prospect had an outstanding November, recording five goals and 15 points through 10 games. This includes five multi-point games. He’s also been a leader defensively with a plus-eight rating.
Last season, Corcoran had 32 points in 68 games, which was a career-high, but he also had a rather forgettable minus-45 rating. Now, he’s on pace to shatter both of those totals. When he’s not lighting up the scoresheet, he’s playing sound defence, arguably the best of his career. The Spitfires’ second-round pick in 2016 was given the alternate captain’s ‘A’ this season and is showing he can do it all for this club.
Corcoran, named the OHL’s Defenceman of the Month for November, has also earned the Spitfires’ first star for November.
After being in eighth place in the conference at the end of last season, the Spitfires find themselves in a battle to stay at-or-near the top this season. It’s a bigger challenge than anyone realized but one that the club is up for. With some much-improved depth and these three players continually stepping up their game, it’s full speed ahead into Christmas and the second half.
A nearly life-long resident of Windsor, ON, I graduated from St. Clair College (Journalism) and University of Windsor (Communications) and have attended Windsor Spitfires’ (and OHL) games for 30-years. My areas include multimedia journalism and photography.