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Mitchell steals spotlight in Memorial Cup

(Rimouski, QC) Dale Mitchell figures that it was his best period of hockey ever.

The Windsor Spitfires’ veteran forward scored a natural hat trick in the third period of the tie-breaker game against the Rimouski Oceanic on Thursday to propel the Spitfires into a semi-final matchup against the QMJHL champion Drummondville Voltigeurs on Friday (7:00 p.m. Eastern on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS).

“I don’t think I’ve had (a bigger period),” Mitchell said. “The puck was just bouncing my way and guys were finding me. A credit to the guys – I don’t put any of those pucks in the net if they don’t put them on my tape. All 23 of us were ready to go and that’s what we did.”

Mitchell, a 20-year-old from Mississauga, ON, has been overshadowed by star teammates like Taylor Hall and Ryan Ellis during the Spitfires’ championship playoff run. But Mitchell scored 14 goals and 29 points in 20 playoff games and was a key contributor to the Spitfires winning their first OHL championship in 21 years.

But on Thursday, Mitchell took his game to a new level, scoring three straight goals to wrestle a third-period lead away from the home team and give the Spitfires new life after starting the tournament with a disappointing 0-2 record.

“We all were really confident that we would come back,” Mitchell said. “We just had to make sure we didn’t give any goals up against. We knew we were getting our chances. We knew it was going to come and it came in the third period.”

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