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
Posts tagged ‘adrian robertson’
Posted: September 19th, 2012

This week, I’ll break down all 20 OHL clubs division by division and unveil my predictions for the 2012-13 season. Today, let’s look at the Western Conference’s West Division (listed in alphabetical order):

Plymouth Whalers
Coach/GM: Michael Vellucci
2011-12 finish: 47-18-2-1, 1st division, 2nd conference
Playoff finish: Lost to Kitchener 4-3 in conference semifinals
Key players: LW Stefan Noesen (38 goals, 44 assists, 82 points; signed with Ottawa), C Mitchell Heard (29-28-57; signed with Colorado), RW Alex Aleardi (36-29-65), LW J.T. Miller (25-37-62; signed with N.Y. Rangers; G Matt Mahalak (19-8-0-0 record, 2.66 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, 3 shutouts; Carolina prospect)
Key losses: G Scott Wedgewood (28-10-2-1, 3.02, .911, 3 SO; signed with New Jersey), D Beau Schmitz (14-40-54, +37; signed with Carolina), C Andy Bathgate (19-44-63)
Outlook: The Whalers had a chance to reach the Western finals last season, but they lost Game 7 at home to Kitchener. They lost some key players off that team, but the Whalers still have are strong enough to make a deeper run this season.

Saginaw Spirit
Coach/GM: Greg Gilbert/Jim Paliafito
2011-12 finish: 40-22-4-2, 3rd division, 5th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-2 in conference semifinals
Key players: C Vincent Trocheck (29-56-85; signed with Florida), LW Brandon Saad (34-42-76; signed with Chicago), LW Garret Ross (25-29-54), C Eric Locke (20-20-40), D Dalton Young (5-15-20)
Key losses: LW Josh Shalla (40-36-76; signed with Nashville), RW Michael Fine (22-45-67), C John McFarland (20-21-41; signed with Florida), D Brad Walch (5-18-23, +21)
Outlook: Trocheck and Saad headline an offense that ranked fifth in the league a season ago with 259 goals. Now they have to solidify a defense that allowed 259 goals, the fourth most in the league. Clint Windsor and Jake Paterson are the keys in net.

Sarnia Sting
Coach/GM: Jacques Beaulieu
2011-12 finish: 34-27-2-5, 2nd division, 4th conference
Playoff finish: Lost 4-2 to Saginaw in conference quarterfinals
Key players: C Alex Galchenyuk (0-0-0 in 2 games; signed with Montreal), G J.P. Anderson (27-23-2-4, 3.03, .908, 3 SO), LW Reid Boucher (28-22-50), D Connor Murphy (8-18-26; signed with Phoenix), D Alex Basso (9-27-36, +5)
Key losses: RW Nail Yakupov (31-38-69 in 42 games; signed with Edmonton), C Brett Thompson (32-38-70; former Otter), C Ryan Spooner (29-37-66; signed with Boston), LW Tyler J. Brown (21-27-48), D Adrian Robertson (10-28-38, +13)
Outlook: Yakupov, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, isn’t expected to rejoin the Sting. But Galchenyuk, the No. 3 pick in the draft, returns after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury. But can the Sting overcome other key losses?

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Coach/GM: Mike Stapleton/Kyle Dubas
2011-12 finish: 29-33-2-4, 5th division, 9th conference
Playoff finish: Did not qualify
Key players: C Nick Cousins (35-53-88; signed with Philadelphia), G Matt Murray (13-19-0-1, 4.08, .876; Pittsburgh prospect), D Ryan Sproul (23-31-54, +16), RW Andrew Fritsch (13-19-32 in 35 games; Phoenix prospect), LW Michael Schumacher (26-24-50)
Key losses: C Brett Findlay (20-36-56; traded to Peterborough), C Carson Dubchak (16-16-32)
Outlook: The Greyhounds are trying to avoid a third straight season out of the playoff picture. But does Stapleton, the Otters’ former associate and assistant coach, have enough talented depth to make that happen in a challenging conference?

Windsor Spitfires
Coach/GM: Bob Boughner/Warren Rychel
2011-12 finish: 29-32-5-2, 4th division, 8th conference
Playoff finish: Lost to London 4-0 in conference quarterfinals
Key players: LW Kerby Rychel (41-33-74); C Brady Vail (22-30-52), LW Chris Marchese (18-25-43; former Otter), D Nick Ebert (6-33-39), RW Joshua Ho-Sang (No. 5 pick in OHL Priority Selection), LW Ben Johnson (18-20-38)
Key losses: C Alexander Khokhlachev (25-44-69; playing in Russia), C Zack MacQueen (18-20-38; son of former Otters coach Dave MacQueen)
Outlook: The unexpected departure of Khokhlachev will hurt thre Spitfires, unless forwards like Rychel, Vail, former Otter Marchese and first-round pick Ho-Sang pick up the slack. But will they have enough on defense and in net to win consistently?

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 6th, 2012

The new-look Sarnia Sting looked better than the new-look Erie Otters Friday night.

Ryan Spooner had two goals and an assist and J.P. Anderson stopped all 30 shots to lead the Sting to a 4-0 win against the Otters in front of 2,395 at Tullio Arena.

With the win, the Sting (20-14-1-4) snapped a two-game losing streak to the rebuilding Otters (5-31-1-1), which lost their fourth straight game.

The Sting unveiled the newly acquired Anderson, defenseman Adrian Robertson and forwards Spooner and Tyler J. Brown. Forward Dane Fox and defenseman Troy Donnay made their debuts for the Otters.

Fox and Donnay were acquired Thursday in the trade that sent veterans Greg McKegg, Brett Cook and Tyson Teichmann to London. The newest members of the Sting made an immediate impact.

Spooner and Brown assisted on rookie Connor Murphy’s first OHL goal, a power-play score that opened the scoring with 2:12 left in the first period. Then Spooner fired a wrist shot past Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov with 34.6 seconds left in the period. Robertson assisted on Spooner’s 100th career goal.

Meanwhile, Anderson stopped all 13 shots he faced. He was acquired from Mississauga St. Michael’s on Friday for former Otters draft pick Brandon Maxwell and two picks. The Sting built a 3-0 lead with 8:48 left in the second, as Craig Hottot’s shot trickled past Sadikov and just across the goal line.

Anderson continued his strong start, as he stopped 9-of-9 shots to keep his shutout bid intact. Then Spooner scored his second goal on an unassisted breakaway for a 4-0 Sting lead 4:37 into the third. Anderson capped his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career. Hottot had a goal and assist. Sadikov made 26 saves in a losing effort for the Otters.

In other news, McKegg had a goal and assist in his debut for the Knights, a 3-1 win in Sudbury on Friday. Cook had an assist and was a plus-1. Teichmann didn’t dress for the Knights. Derek Holden didn’t play for Windsor on Friday in Sault Ste. Marie. But former Otter Chris Marchese scored twice in the Spitfires’ 5-3 win. He has five goals and seven points in six games.

- Victor Fernandes




Sting 4, Otters 0

Sarnia  2  1  1  —  4

Erie  0  0  0  —  0

1st Period — 1. Sarnia, Connor Murphy 1 (Spooner, Brown), 17:48 (pp). 2. Sarnia, Ryan Spooner 15 (Hottot, Robertson), 19:25. Penalties — Hottot (S) high sticking, :49; Dundas (S) interference, 10:03; Grant (E) cross checking, 17:12.

2nd Period — 3. Sarnia, Craig Hottot 14 (Thompson, DeAngelo), 11:12. Penalties — Basso (S) checking to head, 2:13; Donnay (S) high sticking, 9:11.

3rd Period — 4. Sarnia, Spooner 16 (unassisted), 4:37. Penalties — McGuire (E) cross checking, 6:32.

Shots on goal — Sarnia, 13-9-8—30; Erie, 11-8-11—30.

Goaltenders — Sarnia, J.P. Anderson 16-11-1-3 (30 shots, 30 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 3-12-1-1 (30 shots, 26 saves).

Power plays — Sarnia (1-3), Erie (0-3).

Referees — T. J Foster, Craig Spada. Linesmen — Ryan Wilson, Daryl Wolfe.

Attendance — 2,395.


Three stars

* Ryan Spooner, Sting (2 goals, assist) ** Craig Hottot, Sting (goal, assist) *** J.P. Anderson, Sting (30 saves, shutout)

Posted: April 4th, 2011

What: No. 5 Erie Otters at No. 4 Windsor Spitfires

When: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit by beating the Spitfires, the two-time defending OHL and Memorial Cup champions, in overtime the past two games. … They tied the series at three games apiece with a 6-5 overtime win in Game 6 Sunday. That was the Otters’ first home playoff win in OT since May 10, 2002, when Sean Courtney scored to seal the franchise’s only OHL championship. … The Otters have won two straight playoff games for the first time since the first round in 2005 against Kitchener. … The Otters have won two of three games in Windsor, both by one goal (2-1 in Game 1 and 6-5 in OT in Game 5). … The Otters’ three wins in this series equals the combined total since their last series victory in 2004 (first round vs. Sarnia). … The franchise is 0-5 in series when trailing 3-1 in games. The Otters have rallied to force Game 7 twice but lost both times (first round vs. London in 1998, second round vs. Sault Ste. Marie in 2000). … The Otters have tied their playoff record with three overtime games in one series (first round vs. Kitchener in 2005). … RW Anthony Luciani (7-3-10) was named OHL player of the week after totaling six goals and nine points last week. … Luciani and C Phil Varone (3-10-13) combined for eight goals and 17 points in the past two games. … Linemate Brett Thompson scored the OT winner on Sunday, his first career playoff goal. … G Ramis Sadikov (3-2-1 record, 4.07 goals-against average, .907 save percentage) has made 50 and 48 saves, respectively, in the past two games – the second and the third-best single-game totals in his career. He made 51 in a first-round loss to the Spitfires last season. … F Andrew Yogan (sick) isn’t expected to play tonight after missing the past three games. “I told him the other day that we’re probably going to go with what we’ve got,” coach Robbie Ftorek said Sunday. “He’s fine, but he doesn’t have the hands and the timing that the other players have because he only played nine games (in the regular season because of shoulder surgery).”

Windsor – The Spitfires have squandered consecutive opportunities to win the series, including squandering 3-0 and 4-3 leads on Sunday. … According to The Windsor Star, the Spitfires have never lost a series when leading 3-1 in games (9-0). This is the third time a series has reached a seventh game (1991 vs. London, 2000 vs. Sarnia). … G Jack Campbell (3-1-2, 3.42, .903) has allowed 16 goals on his last 124 shots after stopping 105-of-112 shots in the first three games. … The Spitfires have recorded 40 or more shots on goal in all six games, including more than 50 in the past two games. … D Adrian Robertson (2-7-9) leads the team in scoring and is tied for second in scoring by defenseman in the playoffs. … RW Jake Carrick (4-4-8), C Stephen Johnston (4-4-8) and LW Tom Kuhnhackl (3-5-8) also rank among team leaders in scoring.

Up next: TBD

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 3rd, 2011

Brett Thompson picked the perfect time to score his first OHL playoff goal.

The veteran winger scored 8 minutes, 51 seconds into overtime to seal the Erie Otters’ 6-5 win in Game 6 in front of 4,059 at Tullio Arena on Sunday. His goal evened the series at 3-3 and forced Game 7 on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario.

Yet any momentum from the Otters’ 6-5 overtime win in a must-win Game 5 didn’t carry over into the opening period of another must-win game. The Spitfires gained control with three straight goals.

Tom Kuhnhackl scored arguably his easiest goal of the season 8:32 into the opening period. He leisurely slipped a rebound into an open net while players from both teams, including Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov, laid on the ice after a scramble for the puck to the left of the Otters’ net.

Then the Spitfires scored twice – both by Taylor Carnevale – in less than 3 minutes late in the period to take a commanding 3-0 lead. He fired a rebound past Sadikov a second or two before the net kicked off its supports for a 2-0 lead with 5:09 left. He scored again with 2:38 left for his third goal of the series.

However, all but one of Windsor’s three-goal lead vanished in a 26-second span of the second.

Anthony Luciani scored off an assist from Phil Varone to move the Otters within 3-1 at the 3:29 mark of the period. Then Brett Cook’s rebound of Brett Appio’s shot sliced Windsor’s lead to 3-2 at 3:55.

Luciani had two goals and two assists to give him six goals and eight points in the past two games. He leads the OHL with seven playoff goals. Varone had a goal and three assists after totaling a goal and four assists in Game 5. They teamed with Thompson to produce four goals and nine points in the win.

The Spitfires responded 32 seconds later on Stephen Johnston’s goal, which extended their lead to 4-2.

But Luciani continued his torrid stretch with his second of the game, sixth in the last two games and a OHL-leading seventh of the playoffs to move the Otters back within 4-3 with 1:07 left in the period.

The Otters tied it on the power play, as Varone’s point shot eluded Campbell 6:49 into the third period. Derek Holden (two assists) and Thompson had the assists on the goal. The Spitfires rallied late to tie the score for the second straight game. This time, Adrian Robertson scored on a rebound through a crowd in front of Sadikov to tie the score at 5 with 3:59 left.

Yet Thompson’s goal kept the Otters’ playoff hopes alive. The teams combined for 120 shots on goal, with the Otters’ 67 shots setting a new franchise playoff record.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Windsor 6, Erie 2

Game 4 – Windsor 7, Erie 4

Game 5 – Erie 6, Windsor 5 (OT)

Game 6 – Erie 6, Windsor 5 (OT)

Game 7 – Tuesday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Series tied 3-3

* If necessary


Otters 6, Spitfires 5 (OT)

Windsor  3  1  1  0  —  5

Erie  0  3  2  1  —  6

1st Period — 1. Windsor, Tom Kuhnhackl 3 (Khokhlachev, Carrick), 8:32. 2. Windsor, Taylor Carnevale 2 (Rychel, Ellis), 14:51. 3. Windsor, Carnevale 3 (Robertson, Posa), 17:22. Penalties — Shields (E) high sticking, 15:10.

2nd Period — 4. Erie, Anthony Luciani 6 (Varone), 3:29. 5. Erie, Brett Cook 1 (Appio), 3:55. 6. Windsor, Stephen Johnston 4 (Ryan), 4:27. 7. Erie, Luciani 7 (Shields, Holden), 18:53. Penalties — Appio (E) roughing, 7:28; Ryan (W) goaltender interference, 11:49.

3rd Period — 8. Erie, Phil Varone 3 (Holden, Thompson), 6:49 (pp). 9. Erie, Derek Holden 2 (Luciani, Varone), 10:56. 10. Windsor, Adrian Robertson 2 (Kassian, Ryan), 16:01. Penalties — Ellis (E) holding, 6:39; Cazzola (E) roughing, 10:13; Robertson (W) roughing, 10:13.

Shots on goal — Windsor, 29-10-10-4—53; Erie, 30-15-14-8—67.

Overtime — 11. Brett Thompson 1 (Varone, Luciani), 8:51. Penalties — None.

Goaltenders — Windsor, Jack Campbell 3-1-2 (67 shots, 61 saves); Erie, Ramis Sadikov 2-2-1 (53 shots, 48 saves).

Power plays — Windsor (0-2), Erie (1-2).

Referees — Bob Langdon, Scott Ferguson. Linesmen — Kevin Hastings, Jesse Wilmot.

Attendance — 4,059.

Three stars

* Brett Thompson, Otters (GW goal, assist) ** Phil Varone, Otters (goal, three assists) *** Anthony Luciani, Otters (2 goals, 2 assists)

Posted: April 1st, 2011

WINDSOR, Ontario – The Erie Otters are still alive. They can credit Anthony Luciani for that.

Luciani scored his fourth goal of the game 4 minutes, 3 seconds into the overtime in Game 5 to seal the Otters 6-5 win against Windsor in front of 5,945 at WFCU Centre on Friday night.

Luciani stole the puck from Spitfires all-star defenseman Ryan Ellis at the side of the net and slipped a shot through goaltender Jack Campbell’s pads to force Game 6 on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Tullio Arena.

Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov (career-high 50 saves) began the game with 10 goals against on his last 70 shots in the past two games. But he was strong through an 18-shot barrage from the Spitfires in the opening period.

Meanwhile, the Otters scored the only goal of the period, as Luciani redirected Phil Varone’s cross-crease pass past Campbell at the 7:11 mark. The Otters had 12 shots in the period.

Sadikov also strong stood through the Spitfires’ 5-on-3 power play early in the second. Yet as the second penalty expired, Spitfires defenseman Adrian Robertson fired a shot from the right side that squeezed through Sadikov’s pads to tie the score at 1 just 3:34 into the period.

But the Otters’ power play awakened in the period. The Otters entered the game having failed on 24 of their first 27 chances. But they scored on three straight chances in a seven-minute span to take a 4-1 lead.

Varone split two defenders at the Spitfires’ blue line and fired a wrist shot past Campbell to break the 1-1 tie at the 8:55 mark. Less than three minutes later, Varone assisted on defenseman Derek Holden’s goal.

Holden fired a wrist shot through a screen to extend Erie’s lead to 3-1. Then Luciani deflected Holden’s shot from the point past Campbell for a 4-1 Otters’ lead with four minutes left in the period.

Varone set up the goal by diving to keep the puck in the zone on a clearing attempt and then making a cross-ice pass to Holden for his third assist and fourth point of the game.

The Otters led 4-1 after two periods despite being outshot 14-9 in the second and 32-20 in the game.

The Spitfires gained some momentum on Alexander Khokhlachev’s power-play goal 4:41 into the third period. But Luciani completed his hat trick – the eighth three-goal game in the franchise’s playoff history – by firing a rebound into an open net 1:10 later. Varone assisted on the goal to tie the Otters’ single-game playoff record with five points set by Brad Boyes (twice) in 2002.

Windsor moved within 5-3 on Kerby Rychel’s goal in front with 10:57 left. Then the Spitfires completed their dramatic comeback with two goals in 41 seconds. Jake Carrick slid a shot past Sadikov to slice the deficit to 5-4 with 3:50 left. Then during a wild scramble in front of the net, Ellis fired a slap shot through the crowd to tie the score at 5 with 3:09 left.

Windsor outshot the Otters 22-7 in the period to extend their advantage to 54-27 heading into overtime.

But Luciani scored on the game’s final shot to seal the Otters’ dramatic win.

* News and notes: The 55 shots against were four shy of the Otters’ postseason record (59 vs. Sarnia on March 26, 2002). … Varone also tied the Otters’ mark of four assists in a playoff game set by Boyes against Sarnia on March 23, 2002, and tied by Chris Campoli against the Sting two years later. … Holden had a goal and two assists. … Coach Robbie Ftorek said Andrew Yogan didn’t travel with the team to Windsor because he was sick. … Campbell allowed six goals on 31 shots in the loss. He has allowed 10 goals on his last 57 shots after stopping 105-of-112 shots in the first three games.

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Windsor 6, Erie 2

Game 4 – Windsor 7, Erie 4

Game 5 – Erie 6, Windsor 5 (OT)

Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 4:30 p.m.

Game 7 – Tuesday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Windsor leads series 3-2

* If necessary


Otters 6, Spitfires 5 (OT)

Erie  1  3  1  0  —  5

Windsor  0  1  4  0  —  5

1st Period — 1. Erie, Anthony Luciani 2 (Varone, Shields), 7:11. Penalties — Khokhlachev (W) tripping, :44; Szydlowski (E) hooking, 2:55.

2nd Period — 2. Windsor, Adrian Robertson 1 (Carnevale, Johnston), 3:34. 3. Erie, Phil Varone 2 (Holden, Sadikov), 8:55 (pp). 4. Erie, Derek Holden 1 (Varone, Cairns), 11:15 (pp). 5. Erie, Luciani 3 (Holden, Varone), 16:00 (pp). Penalties — Szydlowski (E) elbowing, :46; Shields (E) delay of game, 1:34; Kuhnhackl (W) roughing, 7:13; Johnston (W) checking to the head, 10:45; Kassian (E) slashing, 14:58.

3rd Period — 6. Windsor, Alexander Khokhlachev 3 (Robertson, Kuhnhackl), 4:41 (pp). 7. Erie, Luciani 4 (Varone), 5:51. 8. Windsor, Kerby Rychel 1 (Carnevale, Ellis), 9:03. 9. Windsor, Jake Carrick 4 (Kuhnhackl, Khokhlachev), 16:10. 10. Windsor, Ryan Ellis 3 (Kassian, Brown), 16:51. Penalties — Cook (E) holding, 3:52; Erie, too many men (served by Luciani), 11:59.

Overtime — 11. Erie, Luciani 5 (unassisted), 4:03. Penalties — None.

Shots on goal — Erie, 11-9-7-4—31; Windsor, 18-14-22-1—55.

Goaltenders — Erie, Ramis Sadikov 2-2-1 (55 shots, 50 saves); Windsor, Jack Campbell 3-1-1 (31 shots, 25 saves).

Power plays — Erie (3-4), Windsor (1-5).

Referees — Darcy Burchell, Scott Oakman. Linesmen — Darryl Wolfe, Geoff Rutherford.

Attendance — 5,945.

Three stars

* Anthony Luciani, Otters (4 goals) ** Phil Varone, Otters (goal, 4 assists) *** Adrian Robertson, Spitfires (goal, assist)

Posted: March 31st, 2011

What: No. 5 Erie Otters at No. 4 Windsor Spitfires

When: Friday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario

On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)

Fast facts

Erie – The Otters need a win to avoid being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight season. They haven’t won a first-round series since beating Sarnia in 2004. … The franchise is 0-5 in series when trailing 3-1 in games. The Otters lost Game 5 three times. … The Otters have lost three straight for the first time since October. … G Ramis Sadikov (1-2-1 record, 3.81 goals-against average, .906 save percentage) has allowed 10 goals on his last 70 shots (7.05 GAA, .875 save pct.). … Rookie backup G Chris Festarini has allowed three goals on 18 shots in 35 minutes of play (5.12 GAA, .833 save pct.). … The Otters were 1-for-6 on the power play in their Game 4 loss Monday to fall to 3-for-27 in the series. … C Mike Cazzola (3 goals, 2 assists for 5 points) and RW Shawn Szydlowski (2-3-5) have points in the past three games. … C Phil Varone (1-3-4) has points in three of four games. … Coach Robbie Ftorek said F Andrew Yogan missed Game 4 because he was ill and banged up. “We’ve got to see how that works its way out,” Ftorek said.

Windsor – LW Tom Kuhnhackl (2-3-5) rebounded from a leg injury in Game 3 by totaling two goals and two assists in Game 4. … RW Jake Carrick (3-3-6) has more goals and points in this series than in his previous 19 playoff games (1-2-3 with Sault Ste. Marie in 2008 and 2010). … C Stephen Johnston (3-3-6), RW Zack Kassian (1-4-5) and D Adrian Robertson (0-5-5) also lead the offense. … Six different players recorded at least two points in the Game 4 win. … The Spitfires have recorded 40 or more shots on goal in all four games (44.5 per-game average). … The power-play unit has capitalized on 4-of-14 chances in the past two games after failing on 16-of-17 opportunities in the first two games. … G Jack Campbell has a 3-1 record, 2.44 GAA and .920 save pct. in the series.

Up next: Game 6 at Erie (Sunday, 4:30 p.m.), Game 7 at Windsor (Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.)*

* If necessary (both games)

– Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 28th, 2011

WINDSOR, Ontario – It took only a minute for a tight game to turn into a rout.

The Windsor Spitfires scored three goals on four shots in a span of 1 minute, 2 seconds early in the third period on their way to a 6-2 win against the Erie Otters in front of 5,655 at WFCU Centre on Monday night.

With the victory, the Spitfires took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series heading into Game 4 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Tullio Arena. Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov was on his way to another strong effort until Kerby Rychel’s floating shot from the point bounced off his glove and then the crossbar.

Jeff Brown scored on the rebound to hand the Spitfires a 4-2 lead 1:14 into the third. Thirty-two seconds later, Sadikov stopped Rychel’s shot. But Sadikov couldn’t find the puck between his skates.

Brady Vail scored to extend Windsor’s lead to 5-2 and send Sadikov to the bench. He allowed five goals on 32 shots before being replaced by rookie Chris Festarini. Kenny Ryan followed with a goal on the first shot against Festarini for a 6-2 lead at the 2:16 mark. Festarini finished with five saves on six shots.

At first, it appeared Sadikov and Spitfires goaltender Jack Campbell (30 saves) would keep these potent offenses off the scoreboard in the opening period. But a late power play sparked the Spitfires’ attack.

Windsor, which scored on 1-of-17 chances with the man advantage in the first two games, scored on 2-of-4 chances in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Stephen Johnston poked a rebound past Sadikov for his second goal of the series and a 1-0 lead with 4:42 left in the period. The Otters responded 26 seconds later on Mike Cazzola’s second goal of the series.

But the Spitfires capitalized on a 5-on-3 opportunity, as Jake Carrick scored on assists from Zack Kassian – his second of the period – and Ryan Ellis with 1:40 left in the period.

Windsor outshot the Otters 18-10 in the period. The Spitfires continued their offensive momentum in the second period, as they outshot the Otters 11-7. The Spitfires also responded to Shawn Szydlowski’s tying power-play goal with 4:54 left in the period by taking a 3-2 lead on Ryan Ellis‘ unassisted goal less than two minutes later.  A poor clearing attempt from the Otters led to the go-ahead goal.

Then the Spitfires put the game away early in the third. Ellis (goal, assist), Johnston (goal, assist), Carrick (goal, assist), Kassian (two assists) and Adrian Robertson (two assists) led the Spitfires.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Windsor 4, Erie 3 (2OT)

Game 3 – Windsor 6, Erie 2

Game 4 – Wednesday at Erie, 7 p.m.

Game 5 – Friday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 7 – April 5 at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Windsor leads series 2-1

* If necessary


Spitfires 6, Otters 2

Erie  1  1  0  —  2

Windsor  2  1  3  —  6

1st Period — 1. Windsor, Stephen Johnston 2 (Kassian, Robertson), 15:18 (pp). 2. Erie, Mike Cazzola 2 (Yogan, Pelech), 15:44. 3. Windsor, Jake Carrick 2 (Kassian, Ellis), 18:20 (pp). Penalties — Ryan (W) high sticking, :38; Thompson (E) tripping, 3:08; Cazzola (E) hooking, 14:32; Thompson (E) roughing, 15:06; MacQueen (W) roughing, 15:06; Cairns (E) tripping, 17:09; Cazzola (E) roughing, 17:38.

2nd Period — 4. Erie, Shawn Szydlowski 2 (Cook, Hostetter), 15:06 (pp). 5. Windsor, Ryan Ellis 1  (unassisted), 17:12. Penalties — McKegg (E) charging, 1:45; Kassian (W) boarding, 3:53; Johnston (W) high sticking, 7:52; Cook (E) roughing, 11:53; Kassian (W) unsportsmanlike conduct, 13:46; Yogan (E) kneeing, 17:35; Khokhlachev (W) hooking, 18:48.

3rd Period — 6. Windsor, Jeff Brown 3 (Rychel), 1:14. 7. Windsor, Brady Vail 1 (Rychel), 1:46. 8. Windsor, Kenny Ryan 1 (unassisted), 2:16. Penalties — Brown (W) high sticking, 7:19; Cazzola (E) hooking, 7:24; Czinder (W) interference, 10:28; Luciani (E) roughing, 10:37; Robertson (W) roughing, 10:37; Czinder (W) instigating, 18:28; Appio (E) 5-min. fighting, 18:28; Czinder (W) 5-min. fighting, 18:28; Czinder (W) 10-min. misconduct, 18:28.

Shots on goal — Erie, 10-7-15—32; Windsor, 18-11-11—40.

Goaltenders — Erie, Ramis Sadikov 1-1-1 (33 shots, 28 saves), Chris Festarini (7 shots, 6 saves); Windsor, Jack Campbell 1-1-0 (32 shots, 30 saves).

Power plays — Erie (1-7), Windsor (2-7).

Referees — Jason Faist, Bob Langdon. Linesmen — Garrett Rank, Chris Thornton.

Attendance — 5,655.

Three stars

* Zack Kassian, Spitfires (2 assists) ** Jack Campbell, Spitfires (30 saves) *** Stephen Johnston, Spitfires (goal, assist)

Posted: March 24th, 2011

WINDSOR, Ontario – The Erie Otters played with fire against the Windsor Spitfires.

But the Otters’ penalty kill stopped the Spitfires on 10-of-11 chances on the power play on the way to a 2-1 win in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at WFCU Centre on Thursday night.

Phil Varone scored short-handed in the first period. Anthony Luciani scored the eventual winning goal early in the second. Ramis Sadikov stopped 40-of-41 shots. The Otters will take a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Tullio Arena.

The Otters controlled play at the outset and also had several scoring opportunities. But it took a Spitfires’ power play for the Otters to score their first goal of the postseason. Varone and Brett Thompson turned a short-handed, 2-on-1 chance into the game’s opening goal with 4:49 left in the first period.

Varone redirected Thompson’s cross-ice pass past Spitfires goaltender Jack Campbell. Yet the Spitfires seemed to gain momentum late in the period. That momentum carried over into the second, even after Thompson set up Luciani’s goal 1:20 into the period for a 2-0 Otters’ lead.

Then at the 3:04 mark, Otters winger Brett Appio was called for hooking. Six seconds later, Stephen Johnston beat Otters goaltender Ramis Sadikov to slice Erie’s lead in half at 2-1. Zack Kassian and Adrian Robertson earned assists on the power-play goal.

After that, the surging Spitfires had several quality chances to the tie the score. But the Otters, especially their penalty kill, held off the Spitfires to take the one-goal lead into the third. Windsor outshot the Otters 15-10 in the period. But Sadikov stopped 14 of those 15 shots.

The Spitfires enjoyed four more power plays in the third, including a 5-on-3 for 46 seconds late in the period. But the Otters thwarted all of them to secure a hard-earned victory.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule

No. 4 Windsor vs. No. 5 Erie

Game 1 – Erie 2, Windsor 1

Game 2 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.

Game 3 – Monday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.

Game 4 – March 30 at Erie, 7 p.m.

Game 5 – April 1 at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Game 6 – April 3 at Erie, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 7 – April 5 at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*

Erie leads series 1-0

* If necessary


Otters 2, Spitfires 1

Erie  1  1  0  —  2

Windsor  0  1  0  —  1

1st Period — 1. Erie, Phil Varone 1 (Thompson, Shields), 15:11 (sh). Penalties — Ryan (W) slashing, 1:35; Rychel (W) hooking, 7:48; Cook (E) unsportsmanlike conduct, 7:48; Kassian (W) charging, 8:32; Appio (E) interference, 11:02; Holden (E) checking from behind, 13:25; Pelech (E) holding, 18:51.

2nd Period — 2. Erie, Anthony Luciani 1 (Thompson, Varone), 1:20. 3. Windsor, Stephen Johnston 1 (Kassian, Robertson), 3:10 (pp). Penalties — Appio (E) hooking, 3:04; Vail (W) cross checking, 7:54; Paton (E) hooking, 10:37; Yogan (E) interference, 13:22; Cook (E) tripping, 15:13; Cook (E) 5-min. fighting, 15:13; Carrick (W) 5-min. fighting, 15:13; Cazzola (E) slashing, 17:27; Ebert (W) slashing, 17:27.

3rd Period — None. Penalties — Luciani (E) tripping, 5:19; Szydlowski (E) delay of game, 8:59; Appio (E) goaltender interference, 15:37; Szydlowski (E) high sticking, 16:51.

Shots on goal — Erie, 13-10-14—37; Windsor, 15-15-11—41.

Goaltenders — Erie, Ramis Sadikov 1-0-0 (41 shots, 40 saves); Windsor, Jack Campbell 0-1-0 (37 shots, 35 saves).

Power plays — Erie (0-3), Windsor (1-11).

Referees — Dave Lewis, Scott Hoberg. Linesmen — Sean Pindar, Ryan Lachine.

Attendance — 5,524.

Three stars

* Ramis Sadikov, Otters (40 saves) ** Jack Campbell, Spitfires (35 saves) *** Brett Thompson, Otters (2 assists)