Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Despite a strong showing, Wellwood's OT Winner knockout Wildcats

Despite playing giving one of the best efforts in this year's playoffs and Memorial Cup, Windsor's Eric Wellwood showed why the Spitfires are the defending Champions and looking to defend the Memorial Cup.

His OT Game Winner 12 minutes into the extra period gave the Spitfires a perfect 3-for-3 in the Round Robin and officially clinched a spot in Sunday's Championship Game. For Moncton, despite going up 3-2 early in the 3rd period, the lead didn't last long as Stephane Johnston scored his first of the tournament to tie the game at 3-3.

A total of 33 shots (20-13 in favor of Windsor) were shot as both teams were looking to get the win. A Moncton win would have forced a tie-breaker against the loser of today's Calgary VS. Brandon Winner, but it wasn't to be as the Spitfires turned it on in the OT by out-shooting the Wildcats 13-2, but Moncton Goalie Shane Owen who in for Riopel played very well by stopping 48 of 52 shots just couldn't handle it any longer as he gave up the goal to Wellwood that knocked them out of this year's tournament.

So Windsor will have 4 days off as they will face either Brandon or Calgary in Sunday's Memorial Cup Final. While Brandon and Calgary will finish the round-robin tonight as they size up each other for Friday's Semifinal.

From the Memorial Cup Website:

In Brandon, Manitoba: Eric Wellwood of the Windsor Spitfires scored 12:22 into OT to lead the defending MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament Champions to a 4-3 OT Victory over the Moncton Wildcats.

The Wildcats came out of the game determined to avoid elimination, limiting the Spitfires scoring opportunities with an aggressive fore-check. Randy Cameron broke out of the late stages of the first period. He beat goaltender Philipp Grubauer at 18:36 with a solid wrist-shot on the power-play. It didn't take long for the defending Memorial Cup Champions long to even it up. Cam Fowler redirected a Justin Shugg point shot past Shane Owen with 8 seconds to go in the period. Owen was making his first start of the tournament in place of Nicola Riopel would could not compete due to illness.

Moncton managed to out-shot Windsor 16-12 in the opening frame.

Shugg put the Spitfires up by one in the Early stages of the second period by tipping a great Taylor Hall feed. The rest of the period belonged to the goaltenders with both making a sense of spectacular saves to keep the score 2-1.

There was a lot of excitement in the opening minutes of the third period. Wildcats captain Scott Brannon tied the score up at 2-2 at 2:32 with a hard slap from the blue-line with Mark Cundari and Gabriel Bourque in the penalty box for roughing. Less then a minute later, defensemen Brandon Gormley's blast from the point fooled Grubauer.

But the Spitfires battled back. Stephane Johnson registered his first goal of the tournament to even things up at 4:47.

Gabriel Bourque almost ended it in the closing seconds of the third period, but he hit the crossbar with twenty seconds to play.

Eric Wellwood, a 2009 Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, won it for the Spitfires 12:22 into overtime. He was named the game's third star. Justin Shugg received the first star when Randy Cameron was named the second star.

Game six of the MasterCard Memorial Cup will get going at 7:00 PM as the WHL Champions and Tournament Host Brandon Wheat Kings will began to size each other up for Friday's Semifinal. The winner will have the #2 Seed and will be the designate home team for Friday's Game. You can view on line at and on the NHL Network in the U.S.A.

Round Robin Records: Windsor is 3-0-0 Moncton is 0-2-1

Game Boxscore

Moncton Wildcats 3 Windsor Spitfires 4 (OT) (1-1, 0-1, 2-1, 0-1)

1-0 MON: Randy Cameron (PP) (Tessier, Gormley) 18:36 1st

1-1 WSR: Cam Fowler (PP) (Shugg, Ellis) 19:52 1st

1-2 WSR: Justin Shugg (Hall, Henrique) 5:09 2nd

2-2 MON: Scott Brannon (Hrivik) 2:32 3rd

3-2 MON: Brandon Gromley (Stephens) 3:01 3rd

3-3 WSR: Stephane Johnston (Henrique, Ellis) 4:47 3rd

3-4 WSR: Eric Wellwood (Young, Mitchell) 12:22 OT

Game Stats

SOG: MON 41 WSR 52

PP: MON 1/4 WSR 1/2

PIM: MON 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties WSR 12 Minutes on 6 Penalties

Goalies: MON Shane Owen 48 SVS on 52 Shots WSR Philipp Grubauer 38 SVS on 41 Shots

ATT: 5160

3rd Star: Eric Wellwood (WSR)

2nd Star: Randy Cameroon (MON)

1st Star: Justin Shugg (WSR)

Tournament Standings after 5/18

1. Windsor 3-0-0 6 PTS 19-8

2. Brandon 1-1-0 2 PTS 7-9

3. Calgary 1-1-0 2 PTS 7-10

4. Moncton 0-2-1 1 PTS 9-13

Clinched Championship Game Spot

Clinched Semifinal Spot

Eliminated from the Memorial Cup

Tournament Schedule

5/14: Windsor Spitfires 9 Brandon Wheat Kings 3 (5-0, 4-1, 0-2)

5/15: Calgary Hitmen 5 Moncton Wildcats 4 (0-1, 1-2, 4-1)

5/16: Brandon Wheat Kings 4 Moncton Wildcats 0 (1-0, 2-0, 1-0)

5/17: Calgary Hitmen 2 Windsor Spitfires 6 (0-2, 2-1, 0-3)

5/18: Moncton Wildcats 3 Windsor Spitfires 4 (OT) (1-1, 0-1, 2-1, 0-1)

5/19: Brandon Wheat Kings VS. Calgary Hitmen 7:00 PM

5/21: Semifinal: #2 Seed VS. #3 Seed 7:00 PM

5/23: Championship: Windsor Spitfires VS. SF Winner

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