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Wellwood leads Windsor in opening-round finale

by Adam Kimelman
Eric Wellwood scored at 12:22 of overtime to lead the Windsor Spitfires to a 4-3 victory against the Moncton Wildcats in round-robin play at the Memorial Cup in Brandon, Man.

Wellwood, a 2009 sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, pounced on the rebound of a Harry Young shot and scored his first goal of the tournament from the high slot.

The win gives Windsor, the defending Memorial Cup champions, a perfect 3-0 record through round-robin play; they already had clinched a spot in Sunday's championship game. Moncton, the winners of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, was eliminated after losing all three of their games.

Windsor is bidding to become the first repeat Memorial Cup champion since the 1994-95 Kamloops Blazers.

Justin Shugg had a goal and an assist, Cam Fowler and Stephen Johnston each had goals, and Ryan Ellis and Adam Henrique had a pair of assists each. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 38 of 41 shots.

Brandon Gormley had a goal and an assist for Moncton, and Randy Cameron and Scott Brannon also had goals. Shane Owen, starting in goal in place of the sick Nicola Riopel, made 48 saves on 52 shots.

Cameron, a 2007 fifth-round Detroit Red Wings pick, gave Moncton the lead late in the first period. With Ellis off for tripping, Cameron's shot went through a Gabriel Bourque screen and past Grubauer at 18:36.

The lead didn't last long, as Windsor took advantage of a high-sticking call on Alex Saulnier. Windsor took possession in the Moncton zone and started bombing away. Finally Fowler, a defenseman ranked fifth in NHL Central Scouting's final rating of skaters for the 2010 Entry Draft, fired a shot from the top of the circles that beat Owen over his glove with eight seconds left in the period.

Shugg, No. 53 on Central Scouting's list, put the Spitfires ahead at 5:09 of the second, off a pass from Taylor Hall. The assist gives Hall, Central Scouting's No. 2-rated player, a tournament-leading 6 points. He also leads the tournament with 4 goals. Shugg, who earned the primary assist on Fowler's goal, is tied for second with 5 points.

Moncton went back on top with a pair of goals 29 seconds apart early in the third. Cameron beat Greg Nemisz, a 2008 Calgary Flames first-round pick, on an offensive-zone draw in the right faceoff circle. He won the puck back to Scott Brannon at the top of the circle, and his shot hit off Grubauer's left arm and went in at 2:32 of the third.

Seconds later, another faceoff win by Moncton put the Wildcats ahead. Ted Stephens beat Scott Timmins on a draw and the puck trickled back to the point, where Gormley, No. 6 on Central Scouting's list, stepped into a shot and beat Grubauer at 3:01.

It was another short-lived advantage for Windsor, however, as Johnston, a 2008 sixth-round pick by Detroit, banged in the rebound of an Ellis shot at 4:47 to tie the game, 3-3.

The game remained tied going into the final minute of the third period, when each team had a chance to skate off victorious. Daniel Petterson had Grubauer down and the top of the net open, but he hit the crossbar with 24.3 seconds left. On the ensuing faceoff, Wellwood had a breakaway, but Owen made a nice low glove save on his backhand attempt with 14.0 seconds left.

The last game of the round-robin portion of tournament will be Wednesday, when the host Brandon Wheat Kings face the Western Hockey League champion Calgary Hitmen (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SPORTSNET). Both teams are 1-1, with wins against Moncton and losses to Windsor.

Contact Adam Kimelman at

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