Bracco, Spit­fires beat Ot­ters in Memo­rial Cup fi­nal

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

The Wind­sor Spit­fires are Memo­rial Cup cham­pi­ons for the third time in fran­chise his­tory.

Jeremy Bracco capped a three­p­oint ef­fort by set­ting up Aaron Luchuk’s win­ner early in the third pe­riod as the Spit­fires beat the Erie Ot­ters 4-3 on Sun­day for the Cana­dian Hockey League cham­pi­onship. Wind­sor also won in 2009 and 2010.

Bracco, Lo­gan Stan­ley and Gra­ham Knott also scored for the host Spit­fires. Michael DiPi­etro made 32 saves for the win.

Dylan Strome, War­ren Foegele and TJ Fer­gus scored for the Ot­ters, the On­tario Hockey League cham­pi­ons. Troy Tim­pano stopped 18 shots in de­feat.

Strome was named the tour­na­ment MVP.

Wind­sor is the first team that didn’t win their league ti­tle to cap­ture the Memo­rial Cup since the 2012 Shaw­ini­gan Cataractes.

The home crowd was in it even be­fore puck drop at the WFCU Cen­tre, with ‘Go Spits Go’ chants start­ing once the an­thems fin­ished.

Both goalies had to be sharp early.

Alex DeBrin­cat, CHL player of the year, had Erie’s first scor­ing chance but DiPi­etro took it in his chest with no re­bound.

Bracco went back down the ice two shifts later and chose to keep on a 2-on-1 rush, with Tim­pano get­ting an arm on it. Bracco then found Knott in

alone on Tim­pano only for the Erie net­min­der to shut him down with a pad save.

Bracco stayed at it and fi­nally opened the scor­ing on a Wind­sor power play, pick­ing the puck out of a scrum in front of the Erie net and slid­ing it through Tim­pano with 3:53 to go.

But Strome re­sponded only 49 sec­onds later, beat­ing DiPi­etro blocker side.

Strome put a shot on net that

went in off Foegele’s skate and past DiPetro while on the power play at 5:35 of the sec­ond.

A video re­view was needed to de­ter­mine if a dis­tinct kick­ing mo­tion was used, but the goal stood and Erie had its first lead of the game de­spite it ap­pear­ing to be kicked in by the Ot­ters for­ward.

Erie didn’t hold its lead for long, though, as Stan­ley tied the game 52 sec­onds later with

a point shot that Tim­pano couldn’t see at 6:27.

Fer­gus put a point shot on net that hit a Wind­sor stick and past DiPi­etro for a 3-2 ad­van­tage with 7:14 re­main­ing in the sec­ond.

The Ot­ters were out­shoot­ing the Spit­fires 10-1 when Wind­sor went on the power play at 13:24. And the home team took ad­van­tage of its op­por­tu­nity as Gabriel Vi­lardi found Knott at the side of the net to make it 3-3.

Shots were 24-17 Ot­ters after 40 min­utes, with six com­ing from DeBrin­cat alone.

Bracco was still a fac­tor for Wind­sor in the third as he found a streak­ing Luchuk for a 4-3 lead 5:07 into the pe­riod.

Erie pushed for the equal­izer and con­trolled the puck for the ma­jor­ity of the third. Strome hit the post with less than two min­utes re­main­ing, but couldn’t crack DiPi­etro.

CP PHOTO

The Wind­sor Spit­fires cel­e­brate their vic­tory over the Erie Ot­ters in the Memo­rial Cup fi­nal hockey ac­tion in Wind­sor, Ont., on Sun­day.

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