Erie Otters (29-4-1-0) at Guelph Storm (23-7-2-1)
<>When: Today, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Sleeman Centre – Guelph, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: Christmas break
What to watch: The Otters take a 10-game winning streak into this matchup with the Midwest Division rival Storm that ends the opening half of the OHL season. They can match the franchise record of 11 straight victories set earlier this season. … The Otters have matched their win total from the two previous seasons combined. … The league-leading Otters (59 points) have opened an eight-point lead over third-place London in the Western Conference standings, with the Storm another two points back in fourth. Runner-up Sault Ste. Marie, who leads the West Division, is 12 points behind the Otters. … The Otters have won five straight road games by a combined 28-5 score. … They lost in Guelph 4-3 in overtime in the Sept. 20 season opener. … The Otters beat London 4-3 in a shootout Saturday night without four frontline players – G Oscar Dansk, D Adam Pelech, C Connor McDavid and RW Andre Burakovsky – who are preparing for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Now the Otters have the same lineup in Guelph, which will be without two World Junior-bound players – LW Kerby Rychel (17-28-45) and D Phil Baltisberger. The Guelph Mercury has reported that the Storm is also without LW Tyler Bertuzzi because of an upper-body injury. … The matchup features the league’s top two scoring teams (Otters 167, Storm 165). … The Otters also have the league’s stingiest defense (78 goals against). The Storm rank eighth with 102 goals against. … Otters LW Dane Fox has scored a goal in a franchise-record 10 straight games. He also has points in 10 consecutive games (18 goals, 24 points). … LW Travis Wood has points in three straight games. … G Devin Williams has won 13 straight starts. He’s 13-1-0-0 overall. … LW Brock McGinn (23-25-48) and RW Scott Kosmachuk (23-23-46) lead the Storm. Like the Otters, the Storm have a strong goaltending tandem – Justin Nichols (15-3-1-0 record, 3.22 goals-against average, .912 save percentage, 1 shutout) and Matthew Mancina (8-4-1-1, 2.58, .914, 1 SO).
- Victor Fernandes