The Otters recorded their 46th win of the season – a 4-2 victory over Saginaw in front of 4,891 fans at Dow Event Center on Saturday night – to break a tie with the 2000-01 club for the single-season record. The Otters (46-14-2-0) also moved closer to front-running Guelph and ahead of London in the OHL’s Western Conference playoff race.
The Otters move into third place, one point ahead of the idle Knights and three points behind the idle Storm in the chase for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. The Storm and Knights, who have a game in hand on the Otters, face Sault Ste. Marie and Peterborough, respectively, today
The Otters had an early 1-0 lead erased by former teammate Luke Cairns, who scored 26 seconds after Michael Curtis opened the scoring at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the first period. But the Otters’ offensive attack wasn’t done in the first. Erie scored twice in a 33-second span – Patrick Murphy‘s goal 4:07 into the period and Curtis’ second goal at the 4:40 mark – to build a 3-1 lead that grew to a three-goal cushion on Brendan Gaunce‘s power-play score 7:17 into the second period.
The Spirit moved within 4-2 on Jimmy Lodge‘s power-play goal with 1:41 left in the second. But Oscar Dansk capped a 32-save effort, which included six penalty minutes.
Curtis led the way with two goals, while Andre Burakovsky and Dylan Strome had two assists apiece. Lodge led the Spirit (30-27-4-1) with a goal and assist.