Spitfires fly into final

The Windsor Spitfires are headed to the MasterCard Memorial Cup final.

Windsor Spitfires Adam Henrique

Spitfires 3 Voltigeurs 2 (OT)

RIMOUSKI, Que. — The Windsor Spitfires are headed to the MasterCard Memorial Cup final.

Adam Henrique banged in a rebound 4:31 into overtime to lift the Ontario Hockey League champions to a hard-earned 3-2 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Friday’s semifinal to secure a spot in Sunday’s title game against the Kelowna Rockets.

The Spitfires outshot the injury and flu-plagued Voltigeurs 47-21 at the Colisee de Rimouski, including 16-2 in the third period and 6-1 in overtime, but were thwarted time and again by goaltender Marco Cousineau before Henrique ended the drama with his third goal of the tournament.

“We were all over them and we had a few chances early in OT and we just had to keep to our game plan and keep it simple,” said Henrique. “‘Cousineau’s been great through the whole tournament.

“We knew we’d have to pump lots of shots at him. He’s got a great glove and he made lots of big saves for them.”

The Spitfires got possession of the puck after a faceoff in the Drummondville zone, but Cousineau stopped shots from Henrique and Taylor Hall before the veteran centre finally fired one into the open goal.

“I got lucky enough to get a rebound in front with an open net,” added Henrique. “I had to bear down because Cousineau has thrown his glove back and stopped a lot of those.”

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.

Now Windsor will face a Kelowna team that has not played since it lost 2-1 to the Spitfires in its final round robin game on Tuesday.

“Everyone’s excited,” said Henrique, whose team began the tournament 0-2 and now has taken three must-win games in the row — the win over Kelowna, a 6-4 win over Rimouski in the tiebreaker game and the win over Drummondville.

“It’ll be a tough test, but everyone will get some rest (on Saturday) and that will be good.”

Drummondville beat Windsor in overtime in the round-robin portion of the tournament, but the Spitfires thoroughly dominated play in the semifinal.

Cousineau pondered about what might have been for the Voltigeurs, who won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title this season after finishing last in the league a year ago. But after dominating all season, they had little energy left for the Memorial Cup.

“I’m disappointed we lost, but we had injuries, we were hit by a flu,” said Cousineau, an Anaheim Ducks prospect. “I think we gave what we had to give. The rest we couldn’t do anything about.”

A down side to Windsor’s win was that defenceman Jesse Blacker left the game 1:42 into the second period favouring his left leg after a hit from behind by Madbod, who was also injured on the play.

Coach Bob Boughner said Blacker has a lower body injury and may not be able to play on Sunday.

“We’ll see how is after a day’s rest,” said Boughner.

Just Posted

Pembina buying Kinder Morgan Canada and U.S. portion of Cochin pipeline

CALGARY — Shares in Pembina Pipeline Corp. drifted lower Wednesday morning after… Continue reading

Hazardous materials teams aiding in cleanup of fiery Alberta crash scene

CEREAL, Alta. — Police expect a stretch of southeastern Alberta highway that… Continue reading

Red Deer to change its budgeting process with an eye to the future

City is moving towards multi-year budgeting

One dead, others injured after fiery crash in southeastern Alberta

CEREAL, Alta. — One person is dead and others have been injured… Continue reading

Liberals unhurt, Tories not helped by scathing SNC-Lavalin report: Poll

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests a scathing ethics report on Prime… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Trans Mountain puts contractors on notice to get ready for pipeline restart

SHERWOOD PARK, Alta. — Trans Mountain Corp. has advised construction contractors to… Continue reading

Margaret Trudeau to bring one-woman show to Toronto comedy festival

TORONTO — Margaret Trudeau is bringing her one-woman show to the JFL42… Continue reading

Ethics commissioner ready to testify to committee today: NDP critic

OTTAWA — The NDP’s Charlie Angus says he expects ethics commissioner Mario… Continue reading

Beijing appeals to US to ‘meet China halfway’ on trade

Beijing appealed to Washington on Wednesday to “meet China halfway” and end… Continue reading

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

OTTAWA — The Canadian annual inflation rate came in at two per… Continue reading

Workers escorted away during Border Services probe at Vancouver horse track

VANCOUVER — Several people were removed form a Vancouver horse racing track… Continue reading

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

VANCOUVER — The defence team for a Huawei executive wanted on fraud… Continue reading

Most Read