The Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters or Windsor Spitfires will make it the third straight season with an OHL franchise hoisting the Canadian Hockey League’s national championship Memorial Cup on May 28th in Windsor, Ontario. This year’s match – up is the first time two OHL teams have met in the final since the Soo Greyhounds defeated the Peterborough Petes in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario in 1993.
In the round robin of the 2017 Memorial Cup, the Spitfires handed the 2017 OHL champions Otters a 4 – 2 loss on May 24th to advance straight to the championships final while Erie had to earn their berth through a semi – final 6 – 3 win over the QMJHL St John Sea Dogs.
With Otter goaltender Troy Timpano out of position at 16:07 of the opening period, Spitfire Jeremy Bracco finds an open Erie net to give the 2017 hosts a 1 – 0 lead with Gabriel Vilardi and Mikhail Sergachev adding the contributors. Dylan Strome fires the Otters tying goal behind Windsor netminder Michael DiPietro at 16:56 of the period to send Erie into the first intermission even at 1 – 1 with Darren Raddysh and Alex DeBrincat drawing the assists. 5:35 into the middle stanza and on a power play, Otter Warren Foegele directs the puck off his skate into the Spitfire net for the go – ahead goal with Strome and Kyle Maksimovich setting up Foegele’s goal.
52 seconds later at the 6:27 mark of the period, Windsor defenseman Logan Stanley scores the tying goal from the blueline to pull the Spitifres even at 2 – 2 with the Otters. Bracco and Logan Brown had the helpers on Stanley’s tying marker. TJ Fergus sinks the Otters third goal of the contest 12:41 into the period from the blueline to bring Erie’s lead to 3 – 2. Ivan Lodnia and German Poddubnyi drew the assists on Fergus’ goal. Graham Knott finds the back of the Otters net from Timpano’s doorstep to tie the game 3 – 3 with Vilardi and Brown notching the contributors on Knott’s power play goal at 14:53 of the second. With both the Otters and Spitifres changing, Jeremy Bracco carries the puck into the right corner of Erie’s zone to find Windsor’s Aaron Luchuk cutting in front of Timpano for the hosts fourth goal of the game and pull the Spitfires ahead by one at 5:07 of the third.
With turning away 32 of 35 shots in the Spitfires 2017 Memorial Cup win, Windsor 17 year old netminder Michael DiPietro helped his major junior ‘A’ franchise to their third national championship in franchise history while Otter goaltender Troy Timpano stopped 18 of 22 shots in Erie’s 4 – 3 loss.