Henrique's OT winner sends Spitfires to Memorial Cup final
Adam Henrique banged in a rebound 4:31 into overtime to lift the Windsor Spitfires to a 3-2 victory over the Drummondville Volitgeurs in the semifinal of the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Friday night.
With the win, Ontario Hockey League champions advanced to Sunday's final against the Kelowna Rockets.
Drummondville beat Windsor in overtime in the round-robin portion of the tournament, but the Spitfires thoroughly dominated play in the semifinal.
Windsor outshot Drummondville 45-21, finally getting the game-winner on a mad scramble in front of the Voltigeurs' goal with Henrique firing his third of the tournament into an open side.
Taylor Hall and Ben Shutron scored in a first period that was all Windsor, while the opportunistic Voltigeurs tied it in the second with goals from Samson Mahbod and Yannick Riendeau.
Tied at 2-2 in the third period, the Spitfires outshot the Voltigeurs 16-2, but failed to beat Drummondville netminder Marco Cousineau.
The Windsor game plan was to get a lot of shots early on a Drummondville squad weakened by illness and injury. They accomplished that by firing 16 shots at the Voltigeurs in the opening 20 minutes.
The flashy Hall, slated to go high in the 2010 NHL draft, finished an impressive five-man rush by banging home his own rebound at 15:47 and Shutron was left unmarked to take a pass, step into the slot and fire a wrist shoot past a screened Cousineau at 18:02.
The Voltigeurs kept the puck in the Windsor end to start the second period and Riendeau slipped a pass from behind the net to Mahbod for a one-timer that beat Windsor goalie Andrew Engleage at 1:13.
Just 29 seconds later, Mahbod was called for boarding after a nasty hit from behind on defenceman Jesse Blacker, who left the game favouring his left leg. Mahbod also left with an apparent knee problem.
The Spitfires failed to convert and at 14:51, Mark Cundari slapped the puck down the ice while killing a penalty and it went over the Rimouski Colisee's low glass at the far end of the rink for a delay of game call.
Playing with a 5-on-3 man advantage, Riendeau knocked home Mike Hoffman's point shot as Drummondville tied the game 2-2.
Windsor's Dale Mitchell, who scored three straight goals early in the third period of a 6-4 comeback win over Rimouski on Thursday, was sent in on a breakaway by Hall at 4:33 of the third but was thwarted by Cousineau's pad save.
The 2009 tournament marks the first time since 1988 that neither of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams are in the final when the tournament is held in Quebec. That year, Medicine Hat beat Windsor in the Spitfires' only previous Memorial Cup appearance.