Shootout
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 ‘brendan gaunce’
Posted: August 16th, 2014

Joel Wigle

Joel Wigle

Spencer Abraham, Michael Curtis and Dane Fox brought different skills to the ice every night as the Erie Otters’ overagers in the 2013-14 season.
Abraham, who I thought would be the odd OA out when training camp opened last August, saved his best OHL season for last with a more solid two-way game (8-27-35, +29, 7 PPG, 1 SHG in 68 games). Curtis added an offensive side (28-28-56, 3 SHG in 68 games) to a overall skill set best known for leadership and defensive reliability. And Fox…he only led the CHL with 64 goals and finished second to linemate Connor Brown (CHL-best 128 points) in the OHL scoring race (107 points).
They’re all gone – Brown included (because I can’t imagine any scenario where the
Connor Brown (right) isn't expected to rejoin the Erie Otters for  his overage season (Erie Times-News)

Connor Brown (right) isn’t expected to rejoin the Erie Otters for his overage season (Erie Times-News)

Toronto Maple Leafs would send him back to the OHL instead of playing his first AHL season). Most, if not all, of the team’s 1994s – G Oscar Dansk, Ds Troy Donnay, Kurtis MacDermid and Adam Pelech, and C Brendan Gaunce aren’t expected back.
At this point, I suspect either Donnay (N.Y. Rangers) or MacDermid (L.A. Kings) would be the only signed prospect that could be sent back by their NHL club.
Cory Genovese

Cory Genovese

That leaves D/W Cory Genovese (0-3-3, +14, 91 PIM in 58 games) and RW Joel Wigle (6-7-13, 69 PIM in 41 games) as the OA headliners.
Here’s the long-standing rule about OAs: They have to be among the best players on the team. Wigle showed some potential as a power forward early in his OHL career with Niagara, but he’s been hampered by injuries since joining the Otters. Genovese had trouble cracking the D lineup some night this past season, and even was moved to the wing before Darren Raddysh‘s struggles prompted a move back to the blue line late in the season. That’s simply not good enough for a team that again considers itself a contender.
GM Sherry Bassin made a shrewd move to acquire Curtis from Belleville last August. Bassin needs to do that again, either before the season (where he could get a better deal) or in a higher-profile trade closer to the January trade deadline. These Otters will be a younger bunch with new faces in key roles (Ds Jesse Saban and Cole Mayo, Fs Shaun Bily and Alex DeBrincat).
They will need frontline 20-year-olds to lead the way.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The 2014-15 Otters are Connor McDavid’s team. But will he replace Brown as captain? Head to the Shootout blog or Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey on Sunday to read more.

* Let’s talk Otters: Join Victor Fernandes for the training camp edition of Otters Talk on Aug. 25 from 7-8 p.m. by heading to the Shootout blog. Can’t join in at that time? Post your questions on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoErieHockey or send an e-mail to victor.fernandes@timesnews.com, and then check out a recap of the chat on Shootout and Twitter.

Posted: April 25th, 2014

Overagers Spencer Abraham, Michael Curtis and Dane Fox played their final OHL games tonight. But the Otters could lose X players of this team.
Here’s the list…

D Spencer Abraham (overager)
RW Connor Brown (Toronto – signed)
LW Andre Burakovsky (Washington – signed)
LW Michael Curtis (overager)
G Oscar Dansk (Columbus – unsigned)
D Troy Donnay (N.Y. Rangers – signed)
LW Dane Fox (Vancouver – signed & overager)
C Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver – signed)
D Kurtis MacDermid – (Los Angeles – signed)
D Adam Pelech (N.Y. Islanders – signed)

Brown, Burakovsky, Kurtis MacDermid, Troy Donnay, Brendan Gaunce and Adam Pelech may have played their final games in Erie, since all have signed NHL contracts. Oscar Dansk remains unsigned with Columbus. …

Posted: April 24th, 2014

Check out the Game 5 edition of Knoblauch Korner here

D Spencer Abraham shares his thoughts on facing the Storm in another elimination game…

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 5
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Sleeman Centre – Guelph, Ontario
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Series update: Guelph leads 3-1
Players to watch

Andre Burakovsky

Erie – G Devin Williams (9-2-1 record, 2.50 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (8 goals, 11 assists, 19 points), C Connor McDavid (4-15-19), RW Connor Brown (8-10-18), C Brendan Gaunce (6-10-16), LW Andre Burakovsky (10-3-13), D Adam Pelech (2-3-5, plus-6 rating), C Dylan Strome (3-6-9); Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (8-13-21), LW Kerby Rychel (7-14-21), RW Scott Kosmachuk (9-11-20), LW Jason Dickinson (5-13-18), G Justin Nichols (11-3-0, 2.86, .914, 1 SHO), C Robby Fabbri (9-8-17), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (8-6-14), D Matt Finn(2-7-9, +9)
Fast facts: The start time was moved up from 7:30 p.m. to accomodate Sportsnet’s television broadcast in Canada. … Otters face a second straight elimination game after winning 5-2 in Game 4 at home Tuesday. … They are 0-5 in Guelph this season, including 5-4 and 7-2 losses in Games 1 and 2 last week. … The Otters are looking to become the fifth team in league history to win a series after falling behind 3-0 in games. They are 0-5 all-time when trailing 3-0. Two of those series ended in four games, while two others ended in five games. The 1998 club pushed a first-round series with London to Game 7 before being eliminated. … Williams will start a second straight game and the fourth time oerall in this series. He stopped 26-of-28 shots in Game. … Erie’s No. 1 line of Brown, Fox and McDavid combined for three goals and seven points in Game 4 after being held to a combined one goal and four points in the series. … The Storm closed out Plymouth and London in the opening two rounds with Game 5 wins at home. … Nichols allowed three goals on 11 shots before being pulled in the first period Tuesday after stopping 80-of-87 shots in the first three games.
Outlook: The Otters overcame a big challenge in winning Game 4. Now they face a larger challenge – winning in Guelph for the first time all season.

– Victor Fernandes

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph
Storm lead series 2-0
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Guelph 7, Erie 2
Game 3 – Guelph 7, Erie 1
Game 4 – Erie 5, Guelph 2
Game 5 – Today at Guelph, 7 p.m.
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

Posted: April 22nd, 2014

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS
(starters in bold italics)

 

ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Curtis-Strome-Burakovsky
Wood-Gaunce-Wigle
Evans-Pettit-Murphy

Defense
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Williams
Dansk

Scratches: Felker, Raddysh, Maksimovich, Betz

GUELPH STORM
Forwards
Rychel-Fabbri-Mitchell
Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
McGinn-Horvat-Auger
Bauman-Suter-Pierog

Defense
Finn-Trojanovic
Leslie-Ebert
Baltisberger-Harpur

Goaltenders
Nichols
Mancina

 Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden
 

Posted: April 22nd, 2014

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 3
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Series update: Guelph leads 3-0 (5-4 win in Game 1, 7-2 win in Game 2, 7-1 win in Game 3)
Players to watch

Connor Brown

Erie – G Devin Williams (8-2-1 record, 2.55 goals-against average, .912 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points), C Connor McDavid (4-13-17), C Brendan Gaunce (6-9-15), RW Connor Brown (6-9-15), LW Andre Burakovsky (10-3-13), D Adam Pelech (2-4-6, plus-5 rating), C Dylan Strome (2-6-8); Guelph – RW Scott Kosmachuk (9-11-20), RW Zack Mitchell (7-13-20), LW Kerby Rychel (6-13-19), LW Jason Dickinson (5-13-18), G Justin Nichols

Justin Nichols

(11-2-0, 2.66, .919, 1 SHO), C Robby Fabbri (9-7-16), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (8-6-14), D Matt Finn(2-6-8, +10)
Fast facts: The Otters face playoff elimination and the end of their season tonight. … Only four teams in league playoff history have overcome a 3-0 deficit in games to win a series. Peterborough (1st round vs. Kingston this season) was the most recent. Windsor was the last team to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win in the conference finals (2010 vs. Kitchener). … The Otters have faced 3-0 series deficits five times in franchise history. They have been swept twice and lost in five games three other times, including in five games to Guelph in the opening round of the 1999 playoffs. Erie rallied to tie London in the first round in 1998 before losing Game 7. … The Otters’ loss in Game 3 was only their only fifth defeat at home this season (34-4-1). They had won the first four playoff games on home ice. … Guelph has outscored the Otters 14-3 in the last two games and 19-7 in the series. … Williams will start in net tonight. … Guelph’s top six forwards (16 goals, 33 points) have outscored Erie’s top two lines (5 goals and 11 points) in the series. … The Otters are 2-for-13 on the power play with two short-handed goals against in the series. The Storm are 4-for-21 with no short-handed goals against.
Outlook: Either win or the season is over for the Otters – and OHL careers end for overagers Fox, Spencer Abraham and Michael Curtis 

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph
Storm lead series 3-0
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Guelph 7, Erie 2
Game 3 – Guelph 7, Erie 1
Game 4 – Today at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

 

Posted: April 20th, 2014

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 3
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream), Image Sports Network
Series update: Guelph leads 2-0 (5-4 win in Game 1, 7-2 win in Game 2)
Players to watch
Erie – G Devin Williams (8-1-1 record, 2.11 goals-against average, .922 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points), C Connor McDavid (4-12-16), C Brendan Gaunce (6-9-15), RW Connor Brown (5-9-14), LW Andre Burakovsky (10-3-13), D Adam Pelech (2-3-5, plus-7 rating), C Dylan Strome (2-6-8); Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (7-12-19), LW Jason Dickinson (5-12-17), G Justin Nichols (10-2-0, 2.81, .916, 1 SHO), LW Kerby Rychel (5-12-17), RW Scott Kosmachuk (8-9-17), LW Brock McGinn (2-1-3 in 4 games), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (7-6-13), D Matt Finn(2-4-6, +8)
Fast facts: The Otters play the next two games at home, where they are 34-3-1 this season – including 4-0 in the playoffs. … They were 2-1 against the Storm at home in the regular season. … Nichols shut out the Otters 1-0 at EIA on Jan. 18. … Guelph has outscored the Otters 12-6 despite being outshot 63-56 in the series. … Williams could get the start tonight after Oscar Dansk allowed seven goals on 30 shots in Game 2 Friday night. Williams allowed five goals on 26 shots in the Game 1 loss. … Gaunce had an eight-game playoff scoring streak snapped in the Game 2 loss. … The Otters’ No. 1 line of Brown, Fox and McDavid, who finished among the league’s top four scorers in the regular season, has been held to a combined one goal and three assists in the series. … Mitchell leads the league in playoff scoring. Fox, Kosmachuk, Dickinson and Rychel are tied for second. … The Otters, which lead the league on the power play this season, are 1-for-7 with the man advantage and have alllowed a short-handed goal.
Outlook: The Otters have said they won’t be in trouble in this series until they play at home. Now they’re at home, and they have to win.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner here
Western Conference finals and check out what D Kurtis MacDermid has to say about moving forward in this series.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 1 Guelph
Storm lead series 2-0
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Guelph 7, Erie 2
Game 3 – Today at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 28 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

Posted: April 18th, 2014

Western Conference finals, Game 1
Erie Otters vs. Guelph Storm

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS
Starters in bold italics

ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Burakovsky
-Gaunce-Wigle
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Curtis-Strome-Evans
Murphy-Pettit-Betz

Defense
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Dansk
Williams

Scratches: Felker (healthy), Raddysh (healthy), Maksimovich (healthy), Wood (healthy)

GUELPH STORM
Forwards
Rychel-Fabbri-Mitchell
Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
McGinn-Horvat-Auger
Bauman-Suter-Pierog

Defense
Finn-Trojanovic
Leslie-Ebert
Baltisberger-Harpur

Goaltenders
Nichols
Mancina

Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden

Posted: April 18th, 2014

Western Conference finals, Game 2 (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sleeman Centre – Guelph, Ontario
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Series update: Guelph leads 1-0 (5-4 win in Game 1 Thursday)
Players to watch

Brendan Gaunce

Erie – G Devin Williams (8-1-1 record, 2.11 goals-against average, .922 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points), C Brendan Gaunce (6-9-15), C Connor McDavid (4-11-15), RW Connor Brown (5-9-14), LW Andre Burakovsky (9-3-12), D Adam Pelech (2-3-5, plus-9 rating), C Dylan Strome (2-6-8); Guelph – LW Jason

Brock McGinn

Dickinson (4-10-14), RW Zack Mitchell (5-10-15), G Justin Nichols (9-2-0, 2.89, .914, 1 SHO), LW Kerby Rychel (2-11-13), RW Scott Kosmachuk (6-7-13), LW Brock McGinn (2-1-3 in 3 games), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (7-4-11), D Matt Finn(2-4-6, +9)
Fast facts: The Game 1 loss was the Otters’ second defeat in their last 18 games dating back to the final eight games of the regular season. … They are 0-4 in Guelph this season. … The Otters allowed more than three goals in a game for only the second time in 10 playoff games. He had allowed eight goals in their previous six games. … Williams allowed five goals on 26 shots in the Game 1 loss after surrendering three goals on 122 shots in the four-game sweep of Sault Ste. Marie in the conference semifinals. … McGinn (43-42-85 in the regular season) makes his series debut after completing an eight-game suspension Thursday. … Bertuzzi scored twice in Game 1. … Gaunce has points in eight straight games – tied for the second-longest streak in the playoffs – and in nine of 10 postseason games overall.
Outlook: The Otters began the series wanting to split the first two games in Guelph. Game 1 slipped away. They have one more chance tonight.

- Victor Fernandes

Series schedule
Storm lead series 1-0 
Game 1 – Guelph 5, Erie 4
Game 2 – Today at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday 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 16th, 2014
 

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, www.ottershockey.com (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