OHL Playoffs: Cirelli’s OT goal gives Otters title over Steelheads

Anthony Cirelli of the Erie Otters. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

ERIE, Pa. — The Erie Otters are Ontario Hockey League champions for the second time in team history.

Anthony Cirelli scored 2:41 into overtime as Erie downed the Mississauga Steelheads 4-3 on Friday to capture the J. Ross Robertson Cup in five games and advance to the 2017 Memorial Cup.

Taylor Raddysh had a hat trick for the Otters, with his third goal coming at 18:45 of the third period to force extra time. Dylan Strome chipped in with three assists.

Cirelli, who was acquired from the Oshawa Generals mid-season, also finished the game with three points.

Spencer Watson, Michael McLeod and Owen Tippett gave the Steelheads a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.

Troy Timpano made 23 saves for the win as Matthew Mancina stopped 39-of-43 shots in a losing cause.

Erie went 2 for 4 on the power play while Mississauga failed to score on three chances with the man advantage.

The Otters’ only other league championship was back in 2002.

Erie forward Warren Foegele was named playoff MVP despite being fifth on his team in scoring with 13 goals and 26 points in 22 post-season games. Alex DeBrincat led the way with 38 points, followed by Strome (34), Cirelli (31) and Raddysh (31).

Three of the four spots at this year’s Memorial Cup are set, with the host Windsor Spitfires and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs in the mix. The fourth spot will go to the winner of the Western Hockey League final between the Regina Pats and Seattle Thunderbirds.

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