RIMOUSKI, Que. - Young prospects Ryan Ellis and Taylor Hall scored as the Windsor Spitfires stayed alive at the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 2-1 victory over the first-place Kelowna Rockets before 4,219 mostly neutral fans at the Colisee de Rimouski on Tuesday night.
The win puts 1-2 Windsor into a tiebreaker game on Thursday night against the loser of the final game of the round robin portion of the four-team tournament between the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the host Rimouski Oceanic. The two 1-1 teams from Quebec face one another on Wednesday night.
The Rockets had already clinched a spot in Sunday's final and looked to have lost a little edge in their play against the desperate Spitfires, who outshot Kelowna 34-17.
That let Windsor, which went into the Memorial Cup ranked second among teams in the three Canadian major junior leagues, back into a tournament in which they have struggled to find cohesion in their play.
Ellis, a stocky defenceman, is projected to be a first-round pick in the NHL draft next month in Montreal, while Hall, who had an assist but also took two needless penalties, is projected to be a top-three pick in the 2010 draft.
Both came through with goals when their team needed it.
Kelowna struck on one of four second period power plays at 7:33 when Myers' point blast went in off St. Denis, who was planted in front of goaltender Andrew Engelage.
The Spitfires came close as Adam Henrique went around Myers to cause a scramble in front of the Kelowna goal. Moments later, Hall cut inside and rang a shot off the post while short-handed.
But the 17-year-old was at the net again to tip a rebound up and over Guggenberger to tie the game at 16:21 for his first of the tournament.
The Spitfires had pressure in the Kelowna zone for a long stretch before Ellis scored on a point shot through traffic 4:13 into the third.
A chance to stretch the lead came with consecutive two-man advantages, but Kelowna left-winger Cody Almond blocked four straight shots and the Rockets managed to kill them off.
Notes: Austin Watson replaced Justin Shugg, who fractured a collarbone in Windosor's 5-4 loss to Drummondville on Sunday. Watson moved onto a line with Taylor Hall and Scott Timmins. . . Hall of Fame goalie and Quebec Remparts boss Patrick Roy attended the game. The Rimouski Oceanic's star alumni Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards are expected to attend Wednesday night's game.