Spitfires Edge Sea Dogs in the Opener at 2017 Memorial Cup

At the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Saint John Sea Dogs and the hosts, the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires who have had 44 days off opened this season’s national championships on May 19th at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario. The OHL Erie Otters and the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds join the Spitfires and Sea Dogs in Windsor from May 19th to May 28th.

The Spitfires come into this seasons Memorial Cup as the host and making a OHL first round loss in seven games to the 2016 Memorial Cup champions, the London Knights while the Sea Dogs eliminated the QMJHL Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in four straight to capture the QMJHL championship to advance to the Memorial Cup in Windsor.

With Jeremy Bracco to the left of Sea Dog netminder Callum Booth behind the goal line, the Windsor forward found Jeremiah Addison with 4:07 left the opening period to give the hosts a 1 – 0 lead. Aaron Luchuk had the other helper on Addison’s power play goal. With 1:43 remaining in the middle stanza, Bracco sinks Windsor’s second of the game to send the Spitfires into the second intermission up 2 – 0 with a pass from Mikhail Sergachev. With a deflection off Sergachev shot from the blueline, the puck bounces off of Luchuk to give the Spitfires a 3 – 0 lead 4:48 into the final period, Windsor’s Adam Laishram drew the assist on Luchuk’s second point of the opening game on Friday evening.

Sea Dog defenseman Nathan Noel fires St John’s first of the game with 3:10 left in the third to pull the QMJHL champions within two with a goal behind Spitfire goaltender Michael DiPietro. Jakub Zboril and Simon Bourque notched the helpers on Noel’s goal. With St John on a power play and 24 seconds after Noel’s goal, Thomas Chabot sinks the second goal from the blueline behind DiPietro to close the game to one at the 2:46 mark of the final period. Mathieu Joseph and Julien Gauthier had the contributors on Chabot’s goal.

Seadog netminder Callum Booth turned away 20 of 23 shots while Spitfire goaltender Michael DiPietro stopped 20 of 22 shots in Windsor’s 3 – 2 win.

The Spitfires will head into May 21st match – up against the Seattle Thunderbirds in a 7:00 p. (EST) puck drop while St John will hit the ice on May 22nd when their next opponents will be the OHL champions, the Erie Otters in a 7:00 p.m (EST) in Windsor.

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