Rangers prospect Tysen Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets teammates missed a chance to finish the round-robin portion of the Memorial Cup tournament with an undefeated record, falling to OHL champion Windsor 2-1 on Tuesday night in Rimouski, Quebec.
|Tysen Dowzak |
Even in defeat, however, Kelowna (2-1 in the tournament) finished as the top team in round-robin play and clinched an automatic berth in the championship game on Sunday.
The Rockets, who had beaten the two QMJHL teams in the tournament, scored the first goal of the game on a power play at 7:33 of the middle period and held a 1-0 lead for the next nine minutes until Windsor tied the score with 3:39 to go in the second.
Windsor's Ryan Ellis notched the game-winner at 4:13 of the third period. Taylor Hall, who scored Windsor's other goal, set up Ellis tally, enabling the Spitfires to avoid elimination for the tournament. Windsor had been 0-2 entering the game against Kelowna.
Dowzak, a defensive-minded defenseman, finished the game without cracking the scoresheet, although he was not on the ice for any goals against. He has one assist in the three games Kelowna has played to date.
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, which is televised nationally on the NHL Network and has been a launching pad for some of the biggest names in hockey.
The Rockets will be looking to win their first Memorial Cup since 2004, while Dowzak has 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.