Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome scored a goal on Friday night to help the Erie Otters defeat the Saint John SeaDogs, 6-3, in the semifinal match of the 2017 Memorial Cup in Windsor, Ontario.
Strome's goal, which he scored at 2:38 of the third period, snapped a 2-2 tie and triggered an offensive outburst by the Ontario Hockey League champs in the final period.
With the win, Erie advanced to the Memorial Cup Final where it will play host Windsor on Sunday at 4 p.m. Arizona time. The game can be seen on NHL Network.
"It feels kind of surreal that we're there," Strome told reporters after the game. "We've had (the date) 5-28-17 on the board in the dressing room for a long time. It's kind of been our thing that we look at before we go onto the ice every time and that's what we're here for."
Strome co-led Erie with six shots on goal and he won 20 of 31 face-offs vs. Saint John, the team Erie routed, 12-5, in the round-robin portion of this tournament. But Friday's game was much more competitive, at least for 40 minutes.
"The first time we played them we probably had 15 odd-man rushes and tonight we only had two or three," Strome said. "They played really well and credit to them, they're QMJHL champions and they battled us hard tonight."
Strome, who leads the tournament with six goals, said Erie Head Coach Kris Knoblauch pushed the right buttons during the second intermission.
"He went around the room and told each one of us what we needed to do, what we're good at and what had to happen," Strome said. "It fired me up, it fired a lot of guys up and we rolled from there. Whatever he said to us, it worked and that's why he's the best coach in the CHL."
The Memorial Cup Final on Sunday will feature two OHL teams for the first time since 1993 when Sault Ste. Marie beat Peterborough.