Colton Incze get­ting chance to start in Wind­sor

For­mer IceDogs backup fills void cre­ated by Michael Di Pi­etro trade

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports -

Colton Incze is one of the new­est Spit­fires to land in Wind­sor.

Incze, who turns 20 in Jan­uary, was into his third sea­son in the On­tario Hockey League as a backup goal­tender with the Ni­a­gara IceDogs when he was traded to the Spit­fires.

In re­turn, Ni­a­gara will get Wind­sor’s fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft.

Rather than keep­ing three goal­tenders on the ros­ter, the IceDogs opted to go for­ward with third-year starter Stephen Dhillon, 20, and rookie Chris­tian Sbra­galia, 17, be­tween the pipes.

Ni­a­gara gen­eral man­ager Joey Burke feels the move to Wind­sor, where Incze will have the chance to be­come the starter, is what’s best for Incze’s devel­op­ment.

“It’s al­ways tough to move a guy like Colton, but at the end of the day this is the best for ev­ery­body,” Burke said in a news re­lease is­sued Tues­day. “It gives him the op­por­tu­nity to be a starter.

“With the emer­gence of Chris­tian Sbra­galia, it al­lowed us to pro­vide Colton this op­por­tu­nity.”

In Wind­sor, a void in net was cre­ated ear­lier this week when the Spit­fires dealt over-ager Michael DiPi­etro to the Ot­tawa 67’s.

The Van­cou­ver Canucks prospect from Amherts­burg, Ont., near Wind­sor, back­stopped his home­town team to a Memo­rial Cup cham­pi­onship in 2017 as the host team. The trade to Ot­tawa gives him the chance to close out his OHL ca­reer with an­other cham­pi­onship run.

With the Spit­fires, Incze will form a goal­tend­ing tan­dem with rookie Kari Pi­iroinen, a 17-yearold im­port from Fin­land.

Incze had a 2-2 record, 3.29 goals-against av­er­age, .901 save per­cent­age in five games with the IceDogs at the time of the trade. In his OHL ca­reer in Ni­a­gara, Incze, the team’s fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft, com­piled a record of 11-15-5 in 41 games with a 3.78 goals-against av­er­age and .893 save per­cent­age.

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Colton Incze (31), shown de­fend­ing the Ni­a­gara net against North Bay, this week was traded to Wind­sor where he will get the chance to be the start­ing goal­tender.

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