Emotional fans shed tears as Spitfires win Memorial Cup
Die-hard Windsor Spitfires fans extremely emotional as team wins prestigious junior hockey championships
Kim Laporte had tears in her eyes as the final few seconds on the clock ticked down and the Windsor Spitfires won the Memorial Cup championship Sunday night.
The past week has been an emotional one for many fans as the team entered the tournament very much the underdogs, having been knocked out of the Canadian Hockey League playoffs in the first round.
But after winning three straight games to make it to the cup final, the Spitfires raised expectations of their die-hard fan base.
"I can't even talk. I have chest pains right now," Laporte said. "We did it."
The 6,500 sold-out crowd got what they asked for as the home team beat the Erie Otters in dramatic fashion with a third-period goal by Aaron Luchuk, which stood up to the be winner in the 4-3 victory.
Fans came out in colourful form, including Jamie Osborn, who got a lot of looks at the WFCU Centre dressed in his team jersey and tradition leather pilot head gear.
"It would mean absolutely a lot to me," he said before the game. "I have followed the team for a long time and it would mean a lot to me and the city."
Spitfires WIN 4-3 <a href="https://t.co/lxhoT4pSnr">pic.twitter.com/lxhoT4pSnr</a>—@CBCWindsor
Dick Tracy was jacked up for the action heading into the game as he walked through the crowds hooting and hollering with almost everyone who came his way.
"It would be the biggest thing for Windsor because, if I'm not mistaken, no host team has ever won the Memorial Cup and we're going to be the first, " he said.
Flag man is fired up and ready to go! He's hoping the Spits come out with a big win <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor">@CBCWindsor</a> <a href="https://t.co/mn01WMHvU0">pic.twitter.com/mn01WMHvU0</a>—@megdroberts
Spitfires goalie Michael DiPietro talked about the final few minutes of the game as his team hung onto their lead on their way to victory.
"Don't screw up," he said of his thoughts during the action. There was "a lot of nervousness, uneasiness. I'm just so happy how everything worked out."
Beating the Erie Otters twice in the Memorial Cup tournament was no easy task, explained Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson. The Otters were the Ontario Hockey League champions.
"To beat Erie, you gotta be at your best," he said. "We knew we were going to have to play the best possible game today."