Host Spitfires skate into Memorial Cup final
Jeremiah Addison had a hat trick as the Windsor Spitfires beat the Erie Otters 4-2 on Wednesday to advance directly to the Memorial Cup final.
Erie will play the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs (1-2) in Friday’s semifinal, with the winner grabbing the second spot in Sunday’s championship.
Mikhail Sergachev also scored for the host Spitfires (30), who went undefeated in the round robin. Gabriel Vilardi assisted on all three of Addison’s goals while Michael DiPietro made 33 saves.
Kyle Maksimovich and Taylor Raddysh supplied the offence for the Otters (2-1), the Ontario Hockey League champions. Troy Timpano stopped 15 shots in defeat.
Addison opened the scoring four seconds after both teams returned to 5-on-5. Vilardi made a pass from behind the net to Addison out front and he roofed it over Timpano 5:50 into the first.
The high-flying Otters couldn’t get their first shot on net for over 10 minutes. They had 74 combined shots in their first two victories of the tournament, but only five in the first period against Windsor.
Their best early chance was a 4-on-2 break led by Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat, but one too many passes led to a wasted chance.
Ivan Lodnia put a wrister into DiPietro’s chest with 9:22 to go in the period.
Jeremy Bracco had a glorious chance to double his team’s lead with 4:29 to play in the first, but a desperate Timpano got across the crease and kept the puck out despite not knowing where it hit him.
Timpano couldn’t get a piece of an Addison shot only 30 seconds later, as the Canadiens draft pick snapped it from the top of the circle short side for his second of the game and a 2-0 lead to take into the first intermission.