The Erie Otters rallied from a goal down twice against the Windsor Spitfires Saturday night.
But the Otters didn’t have one more rally in them in the third period, as they lost 3-2 in front of 2,652 fans at Erie Insurance Arena.
Connor McDavid and Jimmy McDowell scored for the Otters (3-7-1-1), while Connor Brown had two assists. Kerby Rychel scored twice for the Spitfires (6-4-0-3), including the winning goal on the power play with 6 minutes, 57 seconds left in the second period.
Windsor scored twice on five power-play chances on the way to outshooting the Otters 39-19. They also neutralized Erie’s top line of McDavid, Brown and J.P. Labardo in the final two periods behind the line of Brady Vail, Ben Johnson and Derek Schoenmakers.
However, defense was optional in the first period, as these teams traded four goals in rapid-fire fashion during a 10-minute stretch.
Schoenmakers scored on the power play off assists from Nick Ebert and Vail at the 6:02 mark to hand the Spitfires the early lead. The Otters responded on the power play three minutes later, as McDowell scored his first goal of the season on assists from Adam Pelech and Brown. Windsor regained the lead at 2-1 on Rychel’s first of two goals – his seventh and eighth of the season – with 8:57 left in the period. Then McDavid tied the score at 2 – and tied Brown for the team lead in goals with six – at the 15:54 mark. McDavid has points in 10 straight games and 10-of-11 overall. He leads all OHL rookies with 14 pointrs in 12 games.
Defenses clamped down in the second period. Windsor held the Otters to four shots on goal in the period and 10 through the first 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the Otters’ penalty kill stymied the Spitfires during a four-minute power play early in the middle period.
But the Spitfires snapped the 2-2 tie on Rychel’s second goal with 7:57 left in the period, once again with assists from former Otters winger Chris Marchese and 2012 first-round pick Josh Ho-Sang. Windsor held the Otters at bay the rest of the way, although Erie had several quality chances in the third period and pressured the Spitfires in the game’s waning moments. Jaroslav Pavelka stopped 17-of-19 shots for the Spitfires. Devin Williams made 36 saves in a losing effort for the Otters.
– Victor Fernandes