Strome, DeBrincat lift Otters past Thunderbirds


WINDSOR, ONT. – The 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament continued at the WFCU centre, as the OHL champion Erie Otters faced off against the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds. It was the first game of the round-robin for both teams. The Otters would emerge victorious 4-2 in a defensive battle.

In the first period, Seattle rookie Carl Stankowski looked very impressive in net, as Erie was all over the sluggish Thunderbirds in the first, controlling most of the play. Late in the period, Seattle would find their legs as the first period ended in a scoreless tie. Shots after the first favoured Erie 12-8.

Stankowski started off the second making stellar saves, but he couldn’t keep it scoreless, as Chicago Blackhawks second rounder Alex DeBrincat would break the scoreless tie with a power play marker at 5:40. Kyle Pettit and Warren Foegele assisted on the first goal of the game. The Thunderbirds would strike back at 9:01 when Scott Eansor snuck the puck short side on Troy Timpano, assists awarded to Nolan Volcan and Sami Moilanen. Red Wings Prospect Jordan Sambrook would slide the puck past Stankowki’s pad short side to make it 2-1 Erie assisted by Taylor Raddysh, and Erik Cernak at 17:59. Seattle’s blue-line didn’t take long to respond to Sambrook, as Austin Strand scored just a minute later to tie the game at two goals apiece, as the second period concluded. Shots after the second frame, 29-14 Erie.

Erie would score early in the third on a two-on-one between Taylor Raddysh and Dylan Strome, the Erie captain, and New York Islander first rounder,  got the better of Stankowski to make it 3-2 Otters,  less than two minutes into the third. Raddysh and DeBrincat drew assists on the goal.  Seattle did not record their first shot of the third until the half-way mark. The Otters would shut down the Thunderbirds the rest of the way, adding an empty netter from Christian Girhini with Anthony Cirelli and Kyle Maksimovich drawing helpers,  to seal  a 4-2 victory over the WHL Champion Thunderbirds.

Final shots on goal were 35-19 in favour of the Erie Otters. Erie went 1/3 on the power play, while Seattle went 0/2.

Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star – Alex DeBrincat(1G, 1A)
2nd Star – Matthew Barzal(1A)
3rd Star – Dylan Strome(1G)

The 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup continues Sunday with the Host Windsor Spitfires(1-0), facing off against the WHL Champion Seattle Thunderbirds(0-1), who will look to rebound from today’s loss. Check back to The Q News for coverage.