Rimouski, QC – The host Rimouski Oceanic got their first win of the 2009 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 5-4 victory over the OHL Champion Windsor Spitfires Sunday afternoon in front of a very lively crowd of 4,744 at the Colisee in Rimouski. Rimouski improves to 1-1 in the tournament while the Spitfires fall to 0-2.
The teams played an aggressive first period with some big hits and scoring chances at both ends but neither squad could capitalize.
The second period was all offense for both teams starting with Patrice Cormier who opened the scoring for the Oceanic on the power play in the second period. He broke in alone and slid the puck between the legs of Spitfires goaltender Andrew Engelage at 3:18. The Spitfires responded with the man advantage when Ryan Ellis blasted a slap shot from the point past a screened Maxim Gougeon at 6:19, followed by a shorthanded marker by Dale Mitchell who one-timed a pass from Scott Timmins at 8:50.
Down 2-1 the Oceanic rallied for three straight goals in the second period beginning with Jordan Caron at 10:45 on a great individual effort, followed by Patrick Delisle-Houde at 14:48 and Luca Cunti at 16:32. The Spitfires caught a break late in the period to bring the score to 4-3 when an Andrei Loktionov shot deflected off a skate and into the Oceanic net.
The backbreaker for the Spitfires came early in the third period. Playing shorthanded, Logan MacMillan intercepted a pass and carried the puck into the Windsor zone and cut to the middle past a sliding defender and fired a shot on goal. The shot was stopped by Engelage but MacMillan grabbed his own rebound and roofed it for the eventual game-winning goal. Loktionov scored his second of the game at 9:34 to bring the Spitfires to within one.
Maxim Gougeon made 35 saves including 17 in the third period to preserve the win. Andrew Engelage took the loss making 20 saves.
Patrice Cormier was the game’s first star with one goal, Marc-Andre Bourdon had three assists for the Oceanic as second star, and the Spitfires’ Greg Nemisz was third star of the game with one assist.
The opening ceremonial puck-drop featured Oceanic alumni including head coach Doris Labonte and team captain Jonathan Beaulieu from the 1999-2000 Oceanic team that last won the Memorial Cup.
Both teams have Monday off and give way to the two 1-0 teams the Kelowna Rockets and Drummondville Voltigeurs who play at 7:00 pm live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS. The Spitfires will play the Rockets Tuesday night, with the Oceanic and Voltigeurs completing the round-robin on Wednesday.