On May 26th in Windsor, Ontario in the semi – final at 2017 Memorial Cup, the Ontario Hockey League champions, the Erie Otters took to the ice to face, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s St John Sea Dogs. The winner of the 2017 Memorial Cup semi – final will punch their ticket to the championship game on May 28th against the hosts, the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. In round robin, the Otters handed the Sea Dogs a 12 – 5 loss.
Four seconds before the halfway mark of the opening period and on a Sea Dog turnover in the defensive zone, Otter Darren Raddysh carries the puck into St John’s end to find Sea Dog netminder Callum Booth back of his net over the St John netminder to give Erie a 1 – 0 lead. At 14:10 of the period, Sea Dog Joe Velano picks up the rebound off a Spencer Smallman shot to even the game 1 – 1 with Julian Gauthier adding the second assist on Velano’s goal. With Erie on a power play at 10:57 of the middle stanza, Taylor Raddysh scores the go – ahead to bring the lead to 2 – 1 with Anthony Cirelli and Alex DeBrincat drawing the contributors.
With 42 seconds left in the period on a QMJHL champion power play and Julien Gauthier in front of Otter goaltender Troy Timpano, Mathieu Joseph fires a pass to Gauthier to send the Sea Dogs into the second intermission tied at 2 – 2 with Erie. Matthew Highmore drew the other helper on Gauthier’s tying goal. 3:28 into the final period, Dylan finds the back of the Sea Dogs net to give the Otters a 3 – 2 lead with DeBrincat nothcing the assist. Erie’s Ivan Lodnia picks up a St John turnover in the defensive zone to send a pass to German Poddubnyi to increase the Otters lead to 4 – 2 at 3:45 of the third.
With Callum Booth in the butterfly on the edge of his crease, Otter Taylor Raddysh sunk Erie’s fifth past the Sea Dog netminder to add to the OHL champions lead. Cirelli and DeBrincat added the contributors on Raddysh’s power play marker 12:31 into the period. With 3:32 remaining in the semi – final, Thomas Chabot crashes Timpano’s net to score the Sea Dogs third of the game to pull St John within two. Gauthier and Chase Stewart register the assists on Chabot’s goal. With Booth on the Sea Dog bench for an extra attacker, Warren Foegele finds the empty St John net to give the OHL champions a 6 – 3 win with Darren Raddysh adding the assist on Foegele’s empty net goal with 34 seconds left in the game. Sea Dog Callum Booth turned away 31 of 36 shots in St John’s 6 – 3 loss while Erie goaltender Troy Timpano stopped 20 of 23 shots in the Otters semi – final win.
The Otters will meet the Spitfires in an all Ontario championship game at 2017 Memorial Cup on May 28th in a 7:00 (EST) p.m puck drop. The 2017 Memorial Cup will be all Ontario match – up for the first time since 1993 when the Soo Greyhounds defeated the Peterborough Petes in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.