Rimouski, QC – The Windsor Spitfires got the win they needed with goals from Taylor Hall and Ryan Ellis to prolong their stay in Rimouski at the 2009 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a big 2-1 victory against the Kelowna Rockets Tuesday night.
The first period was scoreless with only a few good scoring opportunities as the team’s traded power play opportunities. The best scoring chance came off the stick of Spitfires’ forward Greg Nemisz who stole the puck behind the Rockets’ goal and tried a wrap-around, then grabbed his own rebound and shot top shelf only to be robbed by the glove of goaltender Mark Guggenberger.
The Rockets found the net first with a power play goal at 7:33 of the second period when Kyle St. Denis tipped a Tyler Myers shot past Andrew Engelage. Spitfires’ star forward Taylor Hall had been held without a goal in the first two games but worked hard to create scoring opportunities. He rattled a wrist shot off the crossbar midway through the period before later redirecting an Adam Henrique shot just outside the goal mouth at 16:21 of the period to tie the game 1-1.
Ryan Ellis got the game-winner at 4:13 of the third period when he accepted a pass from Hall at the point and blasted a shot up high past Guggenberger for his second goal of the tournament. The Rockets failed to build on the momentum generated by a fearless penalty kill effort by Cody Almond who blocked a couple of shot during a string of three straight Spitfires’ power plays.
Engelage made 17 saves in the win while Guggenberger made 32 including 14 in the third period despite the loss.
The three stars of the game were Hall (goal and assist), St. Denis (goal), and Adam Henrique (two assists). Attendance at the Colisee was 4,290.
With the win, the Spitfires (1-2) live to play another game and will compete in Thursday’s tie-breaker against the loser of Wednesday’s round-robin contest between the Drummondville Voltigeurs (1-1) and the Rimouski Oceanic (1-1) at 7:00 pm on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS. Despite the loss, the Kelowna Rockets (2-1) will compete in the Championship Final slated for Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm.