Rangers prospect Tysen Dowzak's hope of becoming a Memorial Cup champion faded on Sunday afternoon, as his WHL champion Kelowna Rockets fell to the OHL champion Windsor Spitfires 4-1 in major-junior hockey's title game at Rimouski, Quebec.
|Tysen Dowzak |
It was a disappointing ending for Kelowna, which had gone 2-1 in the Memorial Cup tournament's round-robin portion -- losing only to the Spitfires -- to gain the No. 1 seed for the playoff round.
Windsor scored three times in the first 7:11 of the opening period before Kelowna made it a two-goal game just eight seconds into the middle frame. It wasn't enough, however, as the Spitfires scored again with 7:14 remaining in the second for the commanding three-goal lead that stood up for the whole game.
Windsor's Taylor Hall, who assisted on his team's final goal and was plus-2 for the afternoon, was the No. 1 star on Sunday.
Dowzak, a defenseman who signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent last October, was minus-2 for the title game.
The Memorial Cup championship was the first for Windsor, which is the junior hockey alma mater of Rangers legend Adam Graves. Windsor also became the first team to win the Memorial Cup after losing its first two games in the round-robin portion.
The Memorial Cup is the oldest major amateur hockey trophy in North America, dating back to 1919. Only the Stanley Cup itself has been awarded longer than the Memorial Cup.
With Kelowna's defeat, Dowzak missed a chance to become the first Rangers prospect to win the Memorial Cup while a member of the Blueshirts organization since Christian Dube with Hull in 1997. Among the current Rangers, only Dan Girardi
has won the Memorial Cup, but the Blueshirts did not yet hold his NHL rights at the time.