Otters advance to Memorial Cup final

WINDSOR, Ont. — Taylor Raddysh scored twice as the Erie Otters beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 6-3 on Friday to advance to the Memorial Cup final.

Erie will face the Windsor Spitfires in Sunday’s championship. The host team earned their way into the final with three straight wins in round-robin action, including a 4-2 victory over the Otters.

Darren Raddysh, Dylan Strome, German Poddubnyi and Warren Foegele also scored for the Otters (3-1), the Ontario Hockey League champions. Troy Timpano made 20 saves while Alex DeBrincat had three assists.

Joe Veleno, Julien Gauthier and Thomas Chabot scored for the Sea Dogs (1-3), the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions. Callum Booth stopped 31-of-36 shots in defeat.

Erie beat the Sea Dogs 12-5 in the round robin, with Strome setting a new Memorial Cup record for points in a game with seven.

It was nearly 1-0 Saint John six minutes in when Simon Bourque squeezed the puck through Timpano’s legs, only for DeBrincat to clear it away from behind his ‘keeper.

Darren Raddysh opened the scoring 9:59 in with an unbelievable solo effort.

After winning the race to a loose puck in the Saint John corner to negate an icing, he spun off his defender and brought it backhand to forehand before snapping a shot up and over Booth.

Veleno tied the game with 5:50 to go in the period when he batted a rebound out of mid-air past Timpano.

The Otters started to take over near the midway point of the period and re-took the lead on a power play when Taylor Raddysh beat Booth blocker side from the hashmarks at 10:57.

Second-period penalties burned the Sea Dogs in the first meeting between the two clubs, with Erie finishing the game 5 for 7 on the power play.

Discipline became an issue again for Saint John in the middle frame, taking four straight minors, but a combination of Booth’s play and some luck limited Erie’s power play to just the one goal.

Taylor Raddysh thought he made it 3-1 with 1:09 to play in the period on a play that had both teams confused, but the goal was called back because of a delayed penalty call on the Otters.

The no-goal call proved to be big at the time as Gauthier responded on the man advantage with 40 seconds remaining in the period.

Shots were 17-4 Erie in the second and 27-13 for the Otters through 40 minutes.

Strome finally made good on one of his scoring chances, beating Booth with a wrist shot between the legs 2:38 into the third.

Only 1:07 later Poddubnyi doubled Erie’s lead off a turnover, snapping a shot blocker side on Booth.

Taylor Raddysh added his second, banging in a rebound with less than eight minutes to play.

Chabot got one back for the Sea Dogs with 3:32 to play. Chabot crashed into Timpano on the play after being shoved, and the Otters goalie stayed down, but finished out the game in net after being seen by a team trainer.

Booth went to the bench for an extra attacker with 3:01 to go, and Foegele added an empty netter to seal the victory.

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