Host Wind­sor cap­tures the throne

Maple Leafs prospect Bracco steps up as Spit­fires out­last Erie Ot­ters in all- OHL fi­nal


WIND­SOR, ONT.— The Wind­sor Spit­fires are Me­mo­rial Cup cham­pi­ons for the third time in team his­tory.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco capped a three-point 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 T.J. Fer­gus scored for the Ot­ters, the On­tario Hockey League cham­pi­ons. Troy Tim­pano stopped 18 shots in de­feat.

Strome, a Mis­sis­sauga na­tive, was named the tournament MVP.

Wind­sor, which lost in the first round of the OHL play­offs, 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-1rush, 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 DiPi­etro while on the power play at 5:35 of the sec­ond.

Avideo 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 highly ranked NHL draft prospect 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 con­trolled the puck for the ma­jor­ity of the third. Strome hit the post with less than two min­utes re­main­ing, but couldn’t crack DiPi­etro.


The Wind­sor Spit­fires cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning the Me­mo­rial Cup on Sun­day. Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco, sit­ting front right, set up the win­ning goal.

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