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Erie Otters Fall in Memorial Cup Final

Erie Otters Fall in Memorial Cup Final

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco led the way with a goal and two helpers in the win, registering the lone assist on Luchuk's game winning goal while Michael DiPietro made 32 saves and came up big late in the game.

Few players can brag about having won world junior gold (which Bracco did with the United States this past winter) and a Memorial Cup in the same season.

"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. The victory made Windsor-which gained an automatic entry as the host team-the first squad in CHL history to win the national title after being bounced in the opening round of the playoffs.

"Truly special, especially being from here", said DiPietro, from 35 minutes south of Windsor in Amherstburg.

"Family, friends, billets, everything about it, so blessed and grateful".

Before the four-team Canadian Major Junior Hockey Championship, the Spitfires went 44 days between games after being eliminated in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

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Fellow Blackhawks prospect, Alex DeBrincat, the CHL player of the year and Red Tilson victor as the OHL's player of the year, had an assist for Erie in the loss.

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.

Despite the loss, Strome was named tournament MVP after putting up an impressive seven goals and 11 points in just five games. "Just sucks to be on this end of it".

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. "They're part of this too and helped us bring it home".

Strome's quick wrister off the post and in came on a tremendous display of patience from defenceman Darren Raddysh who held the puck in at the offensive blue line before finding an open Strome for the finish with a cross-ice feed.

"We knew we had something to prove and I think we proved a lot of people wrong", said Bracco. Windsor also won in 2009 and '10.

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"Plenty of guys [could've gotten it], their goalie [Michael DiPietro] could've got it, he's been unbelievable all tournament", said Strome, who briefly gave the Otters a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Stanley's first goal since January 12th came on a wrist shot from the point through traffic that found its way past Timpano at 6:27.

Fergus put a point shot on net that hit a Windsor stick and went past DiPietro for a 3-2 advantage with 7:14 remaining in the second.

Erie pushed for the equalizer and controlled the puck for the majority of the third.

Then with the game tied 3-3 in the third, Bracco set up Aaron Luchuk, who beat Timpano glove-side, for the eventual game victor 5:57 in to the final period. Strome hit the post with less than two minutes remaining, but couldn't crack DiPietro.

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