This was a Memorial Cup Final setting for the books, a rematch between OHL Western Conference Foes, the Erie Otters and the Windsor Spitfires, that would end in heartbreak for one team. The hosts, Windsor, who lost in the first round to London and Erie, the 2017 OHL Champions.
The tempo of this final game was fast from the get-go, seeing as these two teams know each other well, there wasn’t any feeling each other out needed. End to end with quality chances both ways, though Erie led in shots on goal.
The first goal didn’t come until 16:07 into the first, Jeremy Bracco (Maple Leafs) in the high slot on the power play put Windsor up 1-0. Erie wasn’t having it though and 49 seconds later they answered, Dylan Strome (Coyotes) with a beauty five-hole shot to tie it up 1-1 with 3:05 left in the period. Strome’s goal, his 7th, ties him in second all-time for goals scored in the Memorial Cup Tournament.
Erie came out of the gates running in the second, putting on a lot of early pressure and puck possession. Windsor took a hard penalty and put Erie onto their dangerous power play. The Otters took advantage and the lead, Warren Foegele (Hurricanes) with a redirect tip-in off a shot from Dylan Strome to make it 2-1.
With a switched up repeat of the first period, 48 seconds later Windsor tied it right back up, Logan Stanley (Winnipeg Jets) with a wrister that found its way through traffic to make it 2-2. Quickly after Erie shut things down, stopping almost every advance the Spitfires put on.
12:41 into the second, Erie found the back of the net again to get back into the lead, TJ Fergus with a blast from the point on a long Windsor shift deflected by a Windsor skater before going in made it 3-2. Immediately after, Fergus took a penalty that put Windsor on the power play and they capitalized, tying it up once again, Graham Knott (Blackhawks) finishing a shot from Gabriel Vilardi (2017 NHL entry draft eligible) to make it 3-3.
The third period started with Windsor finishing the rest of their leftover power play from the second, but nothing went in. 5 minutes in, Windsor found their footing, Jeremy Bracco (Toronto) found and set-up Aaron Luchuk to put the Spitfires in the lead 4-3. While both teams would find quality chances, Windsor held on for the rest of the period, keeping a determined and fighting Erie Otters at bay.
The Windsor Spitfires defeated the Erie Otters 4-3 in the 2017 Memorial Cup Final.
A tough loss for a strong Erie Otters team that battled to the Memorial Cup, first as OHL Champions, and then an amazing semifinal win to get them into the final.
Dylan Strome finished the game with 1 G, 1 A, +1, 5 SOG, and a faceoff win percentage of 68% (17/25). He finished the Memorial Cup tournament with 7 G, 4 A, +3, 28 SOG, 2.20 points-per-game, and a faceoff win percentage of 68% (96/141).
Strome was also named the 2017 Memorial Cup Tournament Most Valuable Player, winning the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy, and tied Otters teammate Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay Lightning) for leading scorer, winning the Ed Chynoweth Trophy.