But Otters coach Robbie Ftorek said he was “pleased with what they did on the ice.”
The Otters featured a lineup filled with young players, nine of which made their OHL debut. They faced a veteran-laden IceDogs club that included NHL first-round picks Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome and Mark Visentin.
But the Otters battled the IceDogs from start to finish.
Chris Festarini and Tyson Teichmann, who are vying for the No. 1 goaltending job, allowed a goal apiece while splitting time in net. Festarini stopped 17-of-18 shots while Teichmann had seven saves.
Mitch Bennett snapped the scoreless tie 7 minutes, 35 seconds into the second period on the IceDogs’ first power-play chance of the game. The IceDogs finished 1-for-2 compared to the Otters’ 0-for-5. David Pacan capped the scoring with 4:32 left in the game.
The Otters scratched several veterans from the lineup – goaltender Ramis Sadikov, defensemen Brett Cook, Derek Holden and Kris Grant and forwards Mike Cazzola, Greg McKegg and Brett Thompson.
Left wing Sondre Olden, the club’s highly regarded top pick in the CHL Import Draft, also was scratched because the International Ice Hockey Federation hasn’t officially approved his paperwork. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, expects that to happen Tuesday or Wednesday. Bassin also announced the signings of several prospects – 2011 draft picks Nick Betz, Patrick Murphy and Travis Wood, 2010 pick Connor Brown and 2009 pick Johnny McGuire.
IceDogs 2, Otters 0
Niagara 0 1 1 — 2
Erie 0 0 0 — 0
1st Period — 1. None. Penalties — Niagara, too many men (served by Desautels), 5:17; Shipley (N) hooking, 15:28.
2nd Period — Niagara, Mitch Bennett (Strome, F. Hamilton), 7:35 (pp). Penalties — D. Hamilton (N) elbowing, :50; McCarthy (E) roughing, 6:51; Cairns (E) hooking, 9:33; Verhaeghe (N) hooking, 9:40; Beukeboom (N) slashing, 17:53.
3rd Period — 2. Niagara, David Pacan (F. Hamilton), 15:28. Penalties — McGuire (E) 5-min. fighting, 2:57; Desautels (N) 5-min. fighting, 2:57; McGuire (E) game misconduct, 2:57; Desautels (N) game misconduct, 2:57; Cairns (E) delay of game, 6:25; Windsor (N) delay of game, 6:25; D. Hamilton (N) cross checking, 6:54.
Shots on goal — Niagara, 10-11-5—26; Erie, 11-6-9—26.
Goaltenders — Niagara, Mark Visentin (13 shots, 13 saves), Mike Gallardi (13 shots, 13 saves); Erie, Chris Festarini (18 shots, 17 saves), Tyson Teichmann (8 shots, 7 saves).
Power plays — Niagara (1-2), Erie (0-5).
Referees — Craig Spada, Keith Kaval. Linesmen — Ray King, Mike Harrington.