DiPietro receives “Key to the Town”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Michael DiPietro’s hockey talents have led him to the Windsor Spitfires with those same talents opening doors for him in Vancouver.

However, his hometown of Amherstburg has given him the “Key to the Town” and the knowledge that the door is always open for him to come home.

DiPietro, 18, backstopped the Spitfires to a Memorial Cup in June and was presented the key by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo Thursday morning in front of town hall. DiPietro said the recognition was something that he will cherish.

“It’s a great honour,” said DiPietro. “Being from Amherstburg and to be able to get the first key ever handed out by the mayor to the town, is something I hold very dear to me. I’m very humbled.”

Windsor Spitfires goalie and Vancouver Canucks draft choice Michael DiPietro (left) accepts a Key to the Town from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

Windsor Spitfires goalie and Vancouver Canucks draft choice Michael DiPietro (left) accepts a Key to the Town from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

DiPietro was joined by many friends and family members and was quick to give credit to his family for the honour.

“I’m grateful for all they’ve done for me and continue to do for me,” said DiPietro.

Noting he was glad to have so many people there for the ceremony, the Vancouver Canucks’ third round draft choice added it was a lot of hard work and dedication to get where he is and his family has been a big part of it.

Even with a ceremony in his honour, DiPietro continues to work on his craft and getting to the next level. He awoke at 5:30 a.m. Thursday and trained in the gym and said he was scheduled to be on the ice in the afternoon.

“It’s a good busy,” he said of his schedule. “I’m definitely not complaining on how busy I am.”

Training camp for the Spitfires starts Aug. 27 and DiPietro adds he heads to Penticton, British Columbia for the start of the Canucks’ training camp Sept. 6. He anticipates having more of a leadership role with the Spitfires this season and hopes to teach younger players and “bring them along.”

DiCarlo acknowledged that a “Key to the Town” is usually given to “people of age with a lifetime of achievements behind them.” He added that “Amherstburg is rebuilding, riding a three-year positive turnaround with a very bright future.”

The mayor said “it follows that the first key go to someone young, a youth from our community – Amherstburg’s future.

“I can think of no better example than Michael DiPietro,” said DiCarlo. “At his young age, he has already accomplished a great deal with a lifetime of achievements still ahead of him.”

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Councillor Diane Pouget congratulate Michael DiPietro (second from left) on receiving the Key to the Town

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Councillor Diane Pouget congratulate Michael DiPietro (second from left) on receiving the Key to the Town

DiPietro’s hockey career started when he was six-years-old with the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association. He advanced to Sun County AAA when he was ten-years-old. In 2015, he was the first goalie selected in the OHL draft when the Spitfires drafted him in the second round. He also won a gold medal for Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games and competed for the Canadian national men’s U17 team.

In 2016, he competed for the Canadian national U18 team with 2017 being a big year so far with the Memorial Cup and World Junior Camp invite as well as being drafted by the Canucks.

“Michael’s talent, continued hard work and dedication to his sport has undoubtedly allowed him to reach his goals,” said DiCarlo. “It will continue to propel him forward and will undoubtedly have a positive influence as an exemplary role model on the youth of our community.”

DiCarlo added that no matter where DiPietro’s career takes him, “he will always be welcome in Amherstburg” and hoped that DiPietro considers the town home for the rest of his life.

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