The Windsor Spitfires made quite an impression in their first game at the 2010 Memorial Cup. After a few days off to enjoy their victory, they're getting back to work Monday night.
The Spitfires, the defending Memorial Cup champions, face the only other undefeated team at the tournament, the Calgary Hitmen (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SPORTSNET).
Windsor routed the host Brandon Wheat Kings in their opener Friday, 9-3, led by two goals from 2010 Entry Draft top prospect Taylor Hall. Adam Henrique and Scott Timmins also scored twice, and Dale Mitchell had a goal and 2 assists.
Calgary, the winner of the Western Hockey League, rallied from a 3-0 second-period deficit to beat the Moncton Wildcats, 5-4, on Saturday. Kristopher Foucault, a Minnesota Wild prospect, scored with 3:31 left in regulation to tie the game, and St. Louis Blues 2009 draft pick Tyler Shattock with 1:18 left.
The Windsor-Calgary game also will feature a reunion of sorts among members of Canada's silver medal-winning World Junior Championship squad. Windsor forwards Hall, Henrique, Greg Nemisz and defenseman Ryan Ellis will be on one side, with Calgary forward Brandon Kozun and goalie Martin Jones on the other.
Kozun, the leading scorer in the WHL during the regular season and playoffs, said playing with so many Windsor stars won't really help him Monday.
"The biggest thing you learn is how good they actually are," Kozun told reporters. "Obviously they are very good -- and probably even better with their club team. You have to make sure you are ready to shut them down. On the other hand, Windsor has a full team. They don't have a couple of players, they play as a team and they know how to play as a team."
The same holds true for Jones, who was on the ice when the U.S. scored the winning goal in the gold-medal game, but was the MVP of the WHL playoffs.
"We've played against a lot of really good goalies in the playoffs," Hall said of Jones. "Any time we are playing against good goalies we just have to get a lot of traffic in front and make life hard for them. Just get a lot of shots and hopefully by the end of the game he kind of wears down and we can get a few on him."
After playing the tournament opener Friday, Windsor is ready to get back on the ice, with games Monday and Tuesday, against Moncton, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SPORTSNET).
"I think it was kind of nice that we had the two days off and it kind of let us forget about that (lopsided win)," Hall said. "Just get our composure a little bit and not get over-confident. (Calgary) is going to be a really good test for us."
With so much at stake for the winning team -- a win for Windsor would guarantee them a spot in the championship game, while a Calgary win would lock them into at least a spot in the semifinals -- expect both teams to come out flying.
Windsor especially would love to have an easier road then they did to last year's final, when they became the first team lose its first two games and still win the tournament.
"It's going to be important for us to win that game," Hall said, "and if you can get a bye into the finals, that's pretty key in this tournament."
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