The young defense were overpowered for all four goals while the equally inexperienced offense sputtered in the Erie Otters’ 4-1 loss to Ottawa in front of 3,136 at Tullio Arena on Saturday night.
Sadikov, the Otters’ veteran goaltender, allowed four goals on 29 shots in his season debut. But he had little help from his defense. The offense scored two goals or fewer for the seventh time in 10 games.
That disappointing combination led to a sixth straight loss for the Otters, which have been outscored 62-30 on their way to an OHL-worst 1-10-0-0 on the season.
The 67’s pushed a goal past Sadikov to take a 1-0 lead 5:30 into the opening period. Tyler Toffoli bulled past the Otters’ defense to tie Sean Monahan for the team lead with his eighth goal of the season.
But Sadikov was sharp for the rest of the period. He finished the first with 10 saves on 11 shots.
The 67’s used a well-placed wrist shot to take a 2-0 lead 1:04 into the second period. Cody Ceci took a drop pass from Monahan, the 67’s leading scorer, and fired a wrist shot between Sadikov’s left arm and the left post. Yet the Otters finally found some life on the power play midway through the period.
Rookie winger Connor Brown scored off a rebound in front to slice the 67’s lead in half at 2-1 at the 9:05 mark. Rookies Stephen Harper and Sondre Olden, who missed Friday’s loss to Plymouth because he was ill, assisted on the goal. But the 67’s regained a two-goal lead on the power play.
Shane Prince slipped a rebound of Michal Cajkovsky’s shot past Sadikov to take a 3-1 lead with 4:32 left in the period. Then a scramble in front of Sadikov handed the 67’s a commanding 4-1 advantage.
Brett Gustavsen poked a rebound through Sadikov’s pads moments before the net was dislodged from its moorings. Video review confirmed Gustavsen’s fourth goal of the season. In contrast, the Otters hit three posts in the game and had a reviewed goal waved off. Toffoli (goal, assist), Prince (goal, assist) and Cajkovsky (two assists) led the 67’s (7-3-1-0) with two points apiece. Petr Mrazek made 22 saves.