Last preliminary round game of the 99th edition of the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament and for the first time since 2000, two undefeated teams competed in the last game. A duel between two teams from the Ontario Hockey League, the champions, the Erie Otters and the hosts, the Windsor Spitfires.
Windsor Spitfires (2-0-0-0)
Undefeated since the start of the tournament, the Spitfires could be the first host team since the Shawinigan Cataractes in 2012, to reach the final of the MasterCard Memorial Cup. In the beginning, the Spitfires defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs, followed by the Seattle Thunderbirds two days later.
In their last encounter, they routed the T-birds by a 7-1 score, a one-way match. As a result, the Spitfires became the first hosts in 10 years to experience such a start in the CHL national tournament.
Highlights of the meeting are available here.
Head coach Rocky Thompson talked to the media prior to this evening.
“This is a very important game for us tonight, our guys are prepared, they’re ready, they’re excited about it and obviously we are playing an outstading opponent. An opponent that got picked all year to be in this position, they’ve done a great job, and we give them all the credit in the world.” speaking of the Otters
“We know what we can do and we are excited about the opportunity here to prove it again tonight.”
For Montreal Canadiens 1st round pick in 2016, Mikhail Sergachev, he’s ready to hit ice.
“We’re fresh and we want to play to win. We are hungry and it doesn’t matter if we lost all the regular season games against them, it won’t change our dynamic.”
With a win tonight, the Spitfires would secure a place in the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup Grand Final, which will be played on Sunday, May 28.
Erie Otters (2-0-0-0)
With a surprising 12-5 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Erie Otters are on a mission. Perfect until now, the team will try to secure a place in the final of the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup. Before defeating the Sea Dogs, the Otters defeated the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-2 in their first game of the tournament.
In game 2 against the Sea Dogs, the Otters surpassed three MasterCard Memorial Cup records. Most goals scored by a team in a game with 12. Most goals scored in total in a game with another team (19 goals/12 Erie-5 Saint John) and the highest number of points scored by a player in a game with seven, completed by Dylan Strome (4 goals and 3 assists).
To see the highlights of this game, click here.
Before the game, players Anthony Cirelli and Darren Raddysh answered a few questions.
“They are a well rested team, you can tell the way they came out flying in the first two game and they came out with two wins. They’re fast, strong and big and very good team so have be be ready to play.” said Cirelli
“We’ve played Windsor four times already, with that experience we have an advantage on that side.”
The Game is set at 7:00 pm ET and can be watched on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. You can also watch the game on CHLlive.com.
Text written by Frédéric Damiani