Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco dominant in Memorial Cup victory

2017 Memorial Cup Final: Windsor Spitfires vs. Erie Otters open thread

2017 Memorial Cup Final: Windsor Spitfires vs. Erie Otters open thread

A fantastic Mastercard Memorial Cup final was bookended by a touch of brilliance from Bracco, who registered a goal and two assists in the Windsor Spitfires' 4-3 win over the Erie Otters on Sunday night at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.

T.J. Fergus made it 3-2 Erie, but Graham Knott's power-play goal once again pulled Windsor even at 3-3 after 40 minutes.

But figure that Strome, the captain of the Erie Otters, happily will be telling his grandkids about the year his club won the Ontario Hockey League championship.

The Spitfires made tournament history by becoming the first host team to lose in the first round of its league playoffs and rebound to win the Memorial Cup. "It was a great hockey game but it just sucks to be on this end of it". As for 17-year-old goalie Michael DiPietro, he displayed uncanny calm during the entire event.

"For me being here when we finished last in the Western Conference", said fourth-year centre Aaron Luchuk said of the 2014-15 Spitfires team. After losing the first two games at the 2009 Memorial, Windsor won four-straight game to take the title, won four straight the following year in Brandon and took all four games in Windsor.

Defenceman Daniel Robertson never got to dress in a Memorial Cup game as a rookie when the Oshawa Generals won the title in 2015.

Some of the kids who play hockey loved being there the most because they hope to one day have the chance to play to win the Memorial Cup, including Tatyana, who said, "I really hope so". Bracco, if not Spits goalie Michael DiPietro, easily could have been named tournament MVP instead of Dylan Strome.

"Those guys are where I want to be in the next year or two or however long it takes", said Bracco.

Fourth-year veteran Aaron Luchuk scored the game victor 5:07 into the third period as the host Spitfires defeated the OHL champion Erie Otters 4-3 before a capacity crowd of 6,519 at the WFCU Centre. "I wanted to come out and step up for the team", said Bracco, who began the year with the Kitchener Rangers before a mid-season trade sent him to Windsor.

Luchuk's goal at 5:07 of the third period gave Windsor a lead that held until the final buzzer which proclaimed them champions.

One reason - perhaps the biggest - Jeremy Bracco not only has a chance at sticking with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017-18 but making an impact is his skating ability.

Erie came out of the gates running in the second, putting on a lot of early pressure and puck possession.

The Otters were outshooting the Spitfires 10-1 when Windsor went on the power play at 13:24. The difference was a few inches and a couple posts for the Erie Otters, who would fail to score on their man-advantage opportunities and hit more than a few posts as time clocked down.

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