May 12, 2017
With their Game Four win in Mississauga, the Otters returned to the Erie Insurance Arena with the opportunity to hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup in front of a sold-out crowd. They trailed by a goal in the final minutes of the third period, but Taylor Raddysh completed his hat-trick to tie the game–then Anthony Cirelli scored the game-winning goal in overtime, securing the Otters’ second J. Ross Robertson Cup in franchise history.
Both teams started the first period with an offensive display matched only by the ability of the goaltenders, leaving the first seven minutes scoreless–but only just. Eventually, the Steelheads got on the board first when Spencer Watson capitalized on a turnover in the Otters’ own zone and shot over goaltender Troy Timpano’s shoulder. Then, with under a minute remaining in the first period, Ryan McLeod turned a fortunate bounce behind the Otters net into a feed for his brother Michael, whose quick snap-shot beat Timpano high. Despite a strong start, the Otters skated off for the first intermission down 2-0.
It didn’t take long for the Otters to score in the second period: Anthony Cirelli exploded into the zone, passed to Kyle Maksimovich, who sent a perfect feed to Taylor Raddysh–who hammered the shot home, making it 2-1. The Otters went to the power play twice after the goal as Mississauga’s Bastian was called for hooking and cross-checking, but Erie was unable to convert with the man-advantage, and Owen Tippett came right back the other way to score on the backhand–giving the Steelheads a 3-1 lead. But, late in the period, Taylor Raddysh fished out the puck from a scramble of bodies and put it through Matthew Mancina’s pads, bringing the Otters to within one heading into the third period.
Like the second period, the Otters shelled the Mississauga netminder with shots–but Mancina was equal to the task. But, with the goaltender pulled, Taylor Raddysh received the puck in the offensive zone slot and fired–beating Mancina glove-side to tie the game at three apiece with under two minutes remaining in regulation. Through sixty minutes of hockey, the Otters outshot the Steelheads 41-24 as they headed for overtime.
There was a sense that overtime wouldn’t last long. Just barely two minutes into the fourth period, Captain Dylan Strome’s shot hit Mancina’s pad–and Anthony Cirelli, acquired at the trade deadline, snapped the rebound in to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup 4-3 in overtime.
Taylor Raddysh scored a hat-trick, putting the Otters into overtime; Dylan Strome had three assists; and Anthony Cirelli scored the game-winning goal while adding two assists. Troy Timpano stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.
Spencer Watson scored a goal and an assist for the Steelheads, and Matthew Mancina made 39 saves on 43 shots in the Game Five loss.
The Otters will head to the Memorial Cup hosted by the Windsor Spitfires, where they’ll play the other CHL champions and the Spitfires for the Memorial Cup.