Erie Otters (17-33-3-5) at Windsor Spitfires (22-28-1-6)
When: Thursday, 7:05 p.m.
Where: WFCU Centre – Windsor, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Upcoming schedule: Friday at Sarnia, 7:05 p.m., Sunday vs. Kingston, 2 p.m.
What to expect: The Otters would be eliminated from OHL playoff contention for the second straight season and sixth time since the 2001-02 league championship season with a loss in regulation, overtime or shootout tonight. … The Otters are on pace to earn the No. 2 pick in the OHL Priority Selection. They have the second-worst record in the league, behind only Ottawa, which entered Wednesday night’s game at Belleville with a 15-38-0-4 mark. Peterborough stands third worst at 20-30-3-4. … The Otters are expected to play without captain Connor Brown because of a head injury suffered in Monday’s loss at London. The second-year winger, who leads the team with 26 goals, 40 assists and 66 points, has played in every game – 126 in all – since joining the club a season ago. … League officials will announce today if D Adam Pelech will be suspended for a five-minute, cross-checking penalty and game misconduct against the Knights. League vice president Ted Baker didn’t rule out suspending Pelech indefinitely if more time is needed for the review. Pelech was suspended indefinitely before being issued a four-game ban less than a month ago for a five-minute kneeing penalty and game misconduct Jan. 23 against Saginaw. … C Connor McDavid (24-31-55) holds a three-point lead over Sarnia RW Nikolay Goldobin (24-28-52) in the league’s rookie scoring race. Brampton LW Blake Clarke (18-27-45) trails McDavid by 10 points. … J.P. Labardo (20-34-54) has scored 20 goals in a season for the first time in his five-year OHL career. … The Otters lost the first two meetings with the Spitfires by a goal – 2-1 in Windsor Oct. 18 and 3-2 two nights later at Erie Insurance Arena. They meet for the final time March 2 in Erie. … Windsor has lost five straight games and eight of its last 10 to fall 11 points behind Saginaw in the race for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Any combination of Windsor losses, as well as Spirit wins in regulation, overtime and shootouts, totaling 12 points would eliminate the Spitfires from contention. … The Spitfires rank near the bottom of the league with 169 goals scored and 221 goals against. … RW Kerby Rychel, son of Spitfires vice president and general manager Warren Rychel, ranks among the league leaders with 33 goals and 69 points. … C Alexander Khokhlachev has 13 goals and 28 points in 18 games since leaving the Kontinental Hockey League in his native Russia to rejoin the Spitfires. … RW Josh Ho-Sang, McDavid’s former teammate with the Toronto Marlboros and the fifth pick in the 2012 OHL draft, has 11 goals and 37 points in 52 games.
- Victor Fernandes