Their winless streak reached 13 straight games with a 3-1 loss to Kitchener in front of 2,947 at Tullio Arena on Saturday night. The Otters haven’t won since a 3-2 win in Guelph on Nov. 4.
The Otters, which have a CHL-worst 3-24-0-1 record, tied the 1996-97 club for the second-longest winless skid in franchise history. The 2007-08 team holds the record at 16 consecutive games.
The Otters also tied the franchise marks with seven-game home losing and winless streaks.
Nick Betz scored Erie’s lone goal. Brandon Francisco and Ryan Murphy had a goal and assist apiece and Ben Thomson had two assists for the Rangers (19-8-1-0), which avenged a 4-3 overtime loss in Erie on Oct. 9. That was the Otters’ last home win. Franky Palazzese, which lost that game last month, made 41 saves for the Rangers. Ramis Sadikov made 32 saves in a losing effort for the Otters.
The teams combined for 34 shots on goal in the first period, with the Otters netting 21 of them. But the Rangers victimized Erie’s OHL-worst defense for three goals and a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Michael Catenacci scored off an assist from Francisco 3:14 into the period. Betz matched Catenacci’s goal, with assists from Tyler McCarthy and Derek Holden, for the Otters at the 11:34 mark.
But Francisco scored from in front of Sadikov on assists from Murphy and Thomson 50 seconds after Betz’s goal. Then Murphy, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, turned Thomson’s centering pass into his first goal of the season with 6:36 left in the period. Then the offense disappeared for both teams in the second period. Sadikov stopped all eight shots he faced, while Palazzese was 11-for-11 in the period.
The Otters briefly sliced Kitchener’s lead in half with 4:24 left in the game on what appeared to be Jake Evans’ first career goal. But the video replay judge disallowed the goal after a lengthy review. Two minutes later, Kitchener also had a possible goal disallowed after an equally long review.
- Victor Fernandes