It’s hard to believe that March is right around the corner and, with that, the regular season is winding down. The Windsor Spitfires now find themselves in a serious battle to make the playoffs. Fortunately for them, some players have truly stepped up and provided an extra punch in crunch time.
When you’re rebuilding, it’s not always easy for youth to take control and find that next gear. Sometimes it takes the veteran leadership to step up and show the way. The Spitfires have had youth lead the way most of the season, but February saw veterans giving the team a chance to win every night. Here are the Spitfires’ three stars for February.
February’s Three Stars:
#3 – Curtis Douglas – forward
February stats – three goals and six assists in 10 games
While it took him a few games to get his stride this month, the Dallas Stars prospect ended February with nine points in seven games. He’s also shown a snarl and aggression that fans really enjoy. He’s the first forward to step in and help teammates and he’s more willing than ever to use his frame to send a message.
This is on top of his ability to get to the front of the net and bang home the garbage or simply find the open man and make the creative play. If Douglas can continue to produce on a consistent basis over the next month, the Spitfires will be in very good shape. He’s earned the third star for February.
#2 – Tyler Angle – forward
February stats – six goals and three assists in 10 games.
If you look through the scoresheets in February, there’s a good chance Tyler Angle’s name will come up.
Angle registered at least one point in seven-of-10 games in February, showing a consistency that the team had been hoping for all season. Standing just 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds, Angle isn’t the first guy you would expect to see throw a big hit then go for the goal. That’s exactly what he does, though.
After 17 points in 67 games last season, he’s broke out for 39 points in 50 games this season and has become one of the most consistent players down the stretch. He’s also become one of the team’s more physical players, which throws opponents off their game.
Here’s a clip from YourTV of Angle getting two points against the Saginaw Spirit right before Christmas.
If the Spitfires are going to make the playoffs, Angle’s production is required and he’s delivering. Angle has earned the second star for February.
#1 – Colton Incze – goaltender
February stats – eight games, 2.67 goals-against-average, .903 save percentage
When the Spitfires acquired Colton Incze from the Niagara IceDogs in December, the intent was to have him mentor the young Finnish rookie Kari Piiroinen. Instead, Incze, who had just 41 career appearances, has put up great numbers and ran with the chance to be the starter.
His style involves throwing his body in front of the puck and doing anything he can to stop it. While this differs from the technically-sound style of former Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro, it’s proving to be valuable.
With 2019-20 being Incze’s overage season, the future is uncertain. That’s why he’s doing everything he can now to prove that he’s the real deal. His performance in February has earned him the first star for the month.
This isn’t going to be an easy stretch for the Spitfires, as they sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, just four points up on a hungry Erie Otters’ team. If Angle, Douglas and Incze can continue their hot play, though, the Spitfires could be seeing their season extend into April.
I’m a resident of Windsor, ON and a graduate of St Clair College Journalism and New Media program as well as the University of Windsor Communication, Media, and Film program. I’ve been a junior hockey fan (specifically the Windsor Spitfires) for 30-years and have written about/photographed junior hockey since about 2005.