By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Archive for the ‘Erie Otters’ category
Posted: April 11th, 2014

GUELPH, Ontario – The Erie Otters and Guelph Storm – the OHL’s top two teams in the regular season – will meet for a chance to play for a league championship.
The Storm edged Midwest Division rival London 5-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night at Sleeman Centre to close out the series and clinch a matchup with the Otters in the best-of-seven conference finals, which begin Thursday at 7 p.m. in Guelph. The Storm (52-12-2-2) and Otters (52-14-2-0) had the top two records in the league.
The top-seeded Storm also will host the third-seeded Otters in Game 2 Friday at 7:30 p.m. before the series heads to Erie Insurance Arena for Games 3 and 4 on April 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. If necessary, the Storm would play at home in Game 5 on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Game 7 on April 28 at 7 p.m. The Otters would host Game 6 on April 26 at 7 p.m.
The Storm won the regular-season series 4-2.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph 
Game 1 - Thursday at Guelph, 7 p.m.
Game 2 - Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 - April 21 at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 - April 22 at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 - April 25 at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 - April 26 at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 - April 28 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*

* If necessary

Posted: April 11th, 2014

Erie Otters C Kyle Pettit was back on the ice for a full practice for the first time since having his left calf slashed by a skate blade in Game 4 of the opening-round series against Saginaw. He’s expected to rejoin the lineup for the start of the Western Conference finals. For now, he will focus on regaining his game shape.
“It’s pretty exciting again. It’s been a slow process, but it’s getting a lot better, ” said Pettit, who skated on his own twice earlier in the week without pain. “That was really surprising to me,” he said. “Maybe I’m a little hesitant, but it’s going to take some time just to get back to normal. … It’s what the practice is for.”


Some players watched the webcast Game 4 in the Guelph-London series on their off night Thursday. Some enjoyed a second day away from hockey. But the coaching staff was hard at work, as they traveled to London, Ontario, to watch the Storm’s 6-3 win at Budweiser Gardens. They are familiar with the Storm and Knights, as the Otters faced their Midwest Division rivals six times apiece in the regular season. But the Otters have tinkered with their strategy from series to series, head coach Kris Knoblauch said. Those teams have done that as well.
“They’re always changing their game a little bit, and they’ll change their game when they play us,” Knoblauch said before Friday’s practice at Erie Insurance Arena, the team’s first time back on the ice since completing a four-game sweep of Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday in the conference semifinals. “You can watch games on video, but you only see a third of the ice. (Watching games live) gives you a better idea of what’s going on. It gives you a little bit better perspective of what they’re doing.”


Looks like the Otters will have a full week of practice before starting the conference finals. Knoblauch said he expects the best-of-seven series to begin next Friday. So he will need to keep practice fresh to keep his players sharp.
“This time of year you can only practice so much,” he said. Pettit is happy about the long break, though. “I’m getting a lot of rest and working on (my leg),” he said. ”


Oscar Dansk

Oscar Dansk seems like a more confident goaltender these days. He’s still adjusting to what he called a “new experience” – life as a backup to Devin Williams. But Dansk has worked hard in practice to regain the form that made him one of the league’s top goaltenders in the regular season. He also has returned to the old pads he used in the regular season.
“I just have to learn how to handle this kind of situation myself,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get my feel back, getting back in the groove. I’ve felt really good in practice.”
Posted: April 11th, 2014

McDavid.ConnorThe Erie Otters’ No. 1 line of Connor Brown, Dane Fox and Connor McDavid moved another step closer to each winning an OHL regular-season award.

McDavid joined Fox – the league’s overager of the year – as an award winner Friday, as the second-year center captured the William Hanley Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player after ranking among the league leaders with 71 assists, 99 points and a plus-47 rating. He had only 20 penalty minutes, which was the lowest among the top 12 scorers overall.

McDavid is the second player in franchise history (Brad Boyes, 2001 and 2002) and third 17-year-old in league history (Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, 1978 with Sault Ste. Marie and Kirk Muller, 1983 with Guelph Platers) to earn the honor. McDavid had 71 voting points to lead a list that included Oshawa left wing Michael Dal Colle (50 points) and London center Chris Tierney (35 points) after finishing second in voting to Belleville center Tyler Graovac as a 16-year-old rookie a season ago. McDavid will receive the trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony on June 3 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Brown could McDavid and Fox at the annual event, since the veteran winger and captain is a finalist for the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s most outstanding player. McDavid also will be the league’s nominee for CHL’s Sportsman of the Year, which will be announced at the CHL Awards event May 24 in London, Ontario, as part of the Memorial Cup tournament.

“It’s a tremendous honor to win this award,” McDavid said in a statement. “It’s really important to me to be respectful on the ice, and there’s a reward for that.”

William Hanley Trophy voting

(voting points in parenthese)

C Connor McDavid, Erie (71) – 28 goals, 71 assists, 99 points, +47 rating, 20 PIM (56 games)

LW Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (50) – 39 goals, 56 assists, 95 points, 34 PIM (67 games)

C Chris Tierney, London (35) – 40 goals, 49 assists, 89 points, +44, 12 PIM (67 games)



Posted: April 11th, 2014

Minnesota Wild winger and former Erie Otter Michael Rupp has been suspended four games without pay for a hit to the head of St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie on Thursday night, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

Rupp was given a match penalty for intent to injure. Rupp, who has one point and 23 penalty minutes in 13 games of an injury-plagued season, begins serving his suspension in Sunday’s regular-season finale against Nashville, and continues with the Wild’s first three Stanley Cup playoff games. Rupp also will forfeit $7,692.31 from his salary, which will be added to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, according to the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Check out video of the hit, more about this story and the league’s explanation for the ruling here

Posted: April 11th, 2014

No. 1 Guelph vs. No. 4 London
Guelph leads series 3-1
Game 1 – Guelph 6, London 4
Game 2 – London 7, Guelph 2
Game 3 – Guelph 4, London 2
Game 4 – Guelph 6, London
Game 5 – Today at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday London, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 15 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie vs. No. 3 Erie
Otters win series 4-0
Game 1 – Erie 3, Sault Ste. Marie
Game 2 – Erie 4, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 3 – Erie 2, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 4 – Erie 3, Sault Ste. Marie 2, OT


No. 1 Oshawa vs. No. 7 Peterborough
Generals win series 4-0
Game 1 – Oshawa 3, Peterborough 0
Game 2 – Oshawa 2, Peterborough 0
Game 3 – Oshawa 3, Peterborough 1
Game 4 – Oshawa 5, Peterborough 2

No. 2 North Bay vs. No. 4 Barrie
Series tied 2-2
Game 1 – North Bay 1, Barrie 0
Game 2 – North Bay 4, Barrie 1
Game 3 – Barrie 2, North Bay 1
Game 4 – Barrie 7, North Bay 4
Game 5 – Today at North Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Barrie, 6:00 p.m.
Game 7 – Tuesday at North Bay, 7:00 p.m.*

*if necessary

Posted: April 10th, 2014

Erie Otters left wing Dane Fox broke Cory Pecker‘s franchise record for goals this season. Now Fox has placed his name alongside Pecker for another reason. Fox captured the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s Overager of the Year in a nearly unanimous vote to join Pecker (2001-02) as the only players in franchise history to win this award.

Fox.DaneFox, 20, who led the league with 64 goals and was second to linemate Connor Brown with 107 points in the regular season, received 93-of-95 voting points to outdistance North Bay right wing Barclay Goodrow (34 points) and Sault Ste. Marie center Tyler Gaudet (30). His 64 goals were the most in the league since John Tavares (72 in 2007).

Fox, who signed an entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks earlier this season, topped his goal total (54) from the first four seasons of his five-year career. His point production nearly matched his career total (119) from the previous four years. He will receive his award at the OHL Awards Ceremony June 3 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

“I’m pretty overwhelmed and honored to receive this award,” Fox said in a statement. “There were a lot of great players up for this. I am pretty excited to be taking this home, but I am still focused on the main goal. I want to win a championship in my final OHL season. That’s the trophy I want.”

Overager of the Year voting

(votes in parentheses)

LW Dane Fox, Erie (93) — 64 goals, 107 points (67 games)

RW Barclay Goodrow, North Bay (34) — 33 goals, 67 points (63 games)

C Tyler Gaudet, Sault Ste. Marie (30) — 26 goals, 61 points (65 games)



Posted: April 10th, 2014

The Southern Tier Xpress, a new North American Tier III Hockey League club that will play out of Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena in Jamestown, N.Y., will hold tryouts May 16-18 at JSBIA. The franchise also will have a two-team feeder system – Under-16 and Under-14. Tryouts for those teams are set for April 21, 23 and 24 from 6-9 p.m. at JSBIA.

For more information or to register for tryouts, send an e-mail to


Posted: April 10th, 2014

The Erie Otters clinched their first berth in the OHL’s Western Conference finals with a Game 4 win over Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday. Check out post-game interviews, courtesy of Erie Times-News colleague Tom Reisenweber by clicking here

Posted: April 8th, 2014

The Erie Otters have eight prospects from the 2014 OHL draft that will participate in the U16 OHL Gold Cup, which is set for May 8-11 at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario. The tournament features eight teams with the top 160 under-16 players in Ontario. Here are the Otters prospects with tournament team in parentheses:

Kyle Maksimovich (GTHL Blue)
Taylor Raddysh (GTHL Blue)*
Mitchell Byrne (GTHL Red)
Cole Evans (GTHL Red)
Taylor Egan (HEO)
Jack Gill (HEO)
Colton Point (NOHA)
Jake Lawr (OMHA Black)

Posted: April 7th, 2014

Western Conference semifinals, Game 4 (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, (live stream)
Players to watch

Connor McDavid

Erie – LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Connor McDavid (4-9-13), RW Connor Brown (3-9-12), C Brendan Gaunce (5-7-12), LW Andre Burakovsky (7-1-8), G Devin Williams (7-0-1 record, 1.90 goals-against average, .934 save percentage, 2 shutouts); Sault Ste. Marie – G Matt Murray (4-3-1, 2.63, .914, 1

Matt Murray

shutout), D Darnell Nurse (2-5-7, minus-1 rating), C Tyler Gaudet (2-6-8), LW Michael Bunting (5-1-6), C Jared McCann (2-4-6), LW Sergey Tolchinsky (1-3-4)
Fast facts: The Otters hold a 3-0 series lead for the third time in franchise history. They won the first three games against Windsor and Barrie in the Western finals and league finals, respectively, in 2002. They lost Game 4 on the road both times before winning Game 5 to close out each series. … Williams is one of only five goaltenders in Otters’ history with a playoff shutout. He’s the only one with two. … The Greyhounds have been shut out four times all season. The Otters won three of those games. … Otters F Jake Evans recorded his first OHL playoff point with an assist in the Game 3 win.
Outlook: The Otters have plenty of motivation to close this series tonight – reach the conference finals for the first time since 2002, and avoid a second 1,200-mile round trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie
Otters lead series 3-0

Game 1 – Erie 3, Sault Ste. Marie 1
Game 2 – Erie 4, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 3 – Erie 2, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 4 – Today at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Thursday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
* If necessary

- Victor Fernandes

Switch to our mobile site