Yes, you read the score right.
9-1, Windsor. That's NINE to one.
I started to write a recap and blow-by-blow account of this game and you know what? I just couldn't do it.
This was one of those we really hoped the game would be competitive and close moments, but it really wasn't. Although the Wheaties came out with some jump, it was really over when Adam Henrique's snap shot that squirted through Jacob De Serres' five-hole made it 1-0, Windsor about seven minutes into it. Eric Wellwood would add a goal late in the period to make it 2-0, and the rout was on.
What you need to know about this game:
1. De Serres was nowhere near as good as he needed to be, and the score not only reflected Windsor's superior talent, but his mediocrity as well.
2. Taylor Hall is MVP again, for the second consecutive year, as his team became the first repeat Memorial Cup winners since the Kamloops Blazers did it in 1994-95. He scored a vicious wrister in the second period when he gathered a Ryan Ellis rebound, took a second to put it on his forehand, and then still beat De Serres with a lightning shot that hit a tiny window just up under the crossbar between the goalie's waving glove hand and the right post. Unbelievable shot from the tournament's leading scorer who finished with two helpers to go with the goal tonight, giving him five goals and nine points in four games.
3. Windsor's depth was too much for Brandon. A pair of NHL first-round picks who had been quiet so far offensively, Greg Nemisz (Calgary '08) and Zack Kassian (Buffalo '09) both tallied as the Spitfires poured it on. Even Cam Fowler got into the act, unloading a bomb from the point that De Serres couldn't pick up because a Spitfires forward was buzzing by in front of him.
4. Once the Spitfires started rolling, there wasn't much Brandon could do to stop them. Sure, Matt Calvert's goal to make it 3-1 in the second period game them life, but when Nemisz's shot (which was not initially called a goal before going upstairs for review and being called a good goal after the fact) made it 4-1, the jig was up.
All in all, this was a dominating run for Windsor, and the team was spearheaded by Hall, who had multiple points in each of his four games and led by example. Every team hit him as hard as they could (Hall took a retaliatory slashing call tonight late in the game after Scott Glennie finished a check, running him hard into the boards and knocking Hall down), but he kept bouncing back and took the ultimate revenge: the kind that appears on the scoresheet.
There's not a whole lot more I can add tonight that is really worthwhile discussing. Bob Boughner and staff had the boys ready to play and they gave no quarter en route to eviscerating the home team in front of their disappointed fans. I guess for anyone who watched Windsor this year, the outcome wasn't a suprise, but we hoped for more of a sporting match.
Oh, well-- it's in the books and we'll now look forward to what next year's Memorial Cup tournament in Mississauga, Ontario will bring.
Hall, Fowler and Justin Shugg are on their way now to the NHL Draft Combine in Toronto for a supremely busy week of physical testing and interviews. At least Hall won't have many interviews to conduct: barring some kind of major deal, only two teams have a shot at him. Fowler will be a little busier, but I think after his overall pretty decent performance in Brandon, he'll be off the board in the first five picks.