Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Spitfires Clinch Spot in Final

The Windsor Spitfires have clinched a spot in Sunday's Championship Final at the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Taylor Hall had two goals and an assist to lead Windsor to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Hitmen Monday night, giving the Spitfires a 2-and-0 record.

Even though, technically, Calgary or Brandon could still tie Windsor for first-place with two wins, the Spitfires would hold the first tiebreaker on either team, which is the head-to-head result in the tournament.

Hall, the potential (and, some would say, obvious) #1 pick in June's NHL Entry Draft scored his second goal just 12 seconds into the third period, intercepting a errant Giffin Nyren pass before beating Calgary netminder Martin Jones.

"To be honest, I kind of went out of our system and full-on cheating to try and get that puck," says Hall, who has four goals and five points in the tournament, "It was a risk I was willing to take and I just kind of caught him off guard and eventually got a breakaway and just kind of intercepted the pass."

Hall also scored a power-play goal 3:55 into the first period by blowing a shot over the right shoulder of Jones, giving Windsor a 2-0 lead.

Dale Mitchell had opened the scoring at the 2:38 mark with a weak shot with the five-hole on Jones.

"We had a rough start, a shaky start," says Calgary forward Jimmy Bubnick, who scored both goals for the Hitmen, "Once we got our legs together under us, it went a lot better and we generated scoring chances. That's the beauty of a tournament like this, we'll get another crack at them in the finals."

Bubnick's two goals in a span of 3:13 late in the second period to cut into a 3-0 Windsor lead but the Hitmen's rallying efforts were snuffed out by Hall's goal early in the third.

Dale Mitchell, Justin Shugg, Kenny Ryan and Adam Wallace, into an empty-net also scored for Windsor.

Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots in the Spitfires' goal while Martin Jones made 31 saves for Calgary.

Windsor closes out the round-robin Tuesday with a matchup against the Moncton Wildcats that is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless for the Spitfires but means everything for Moncton.

The 0-and-2 Wildcats need a victory to prolong their participation and force a Thursday night tiebreaker.

Calgary's final game is against Brandon on Wednesday night.

Chaff...WHL Scoring Champion Brandon Kozun (ankle) was among Calgary's scratches on Monday...attendance Monday was 5,201, pushing total attendance at the tournament to 20,720...QMJHL Scoring Champion Nicolas Deschamps hasn’t played since suffering a high ankle sprain on April 23 but returned to the ice Monday in full equipment. A decision on whether he will play against the Windsor Spitfires on Tuesday is to be made sometime during the day...the WHL's Kootenay Ice are in the market for a new head coach. Mark Holick is leaving to became head coach of Anaheim's new AHL affiliate in Syracuse, New York.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having been able to take in the Memorial Cup since Friday, I must say that the organizing committee has done a great job in hosting the 2010 Memorial Cup. From the outside looking in, things are extremely organized and very well thought out. The Committee and it's 800 volunteers are to be commended.
The changes to the Keystone Center are great!
Certainly hoping the Wheaties can get past Calgary and reach the finals.
Edmonton Oilers' GM Steve Tambellini took in the game yesterday and told me after that he had to have just one more look at Taylor Hall. It must have been quite the look considering how Hall played yesterday.

Great Job Brandon!