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 ‘connor brown’
Posted: August 20th, 2014

The Erie Otters need to replace several key scorers from the 2013-14 team. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters need to replace several key scorers from the 2013-14 team. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters won’t score 312 goals in the 2014-15 OHL season.
That’s an easy statement to make, even with Connor McDavid, who’s coming off a 99-point season, leading the way. The Otters are losing as much offense as any team in the league – Connor Brown (45 goals, 83 assists, 128 points), Dane Fox (64-43-107), Brendan Gaunce (31-41-72), Michael Curtis (28-28-56) and Adam Pelech (10-45-55).
They also could lose Andre Burakovsky (41-46-87), if he earns a roster spot with the NHL’s Washington Capitals or is assigned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. The Otters have some promising young players – second-year C Dylan Strome as well as skilled incoming rookies like Shaun Bily and Alex DeBrincat. But aside from Strome, these young players likely aren’t ready to become frontline scorers.
So the Otters will need to manufacture goals more so than last season. They need offense from players that weren’t needed to produce as much in 2013-14.
Jake Evans

Jake Evans

* Jake Evans has that potential. He’s had it since being picked in the 2nd round of the 2011 OHL draft. Yet he hasn’t put it all together in his first three seasons, to the tune of 28 goals and 57 points in 180 games.
He set career highs with 12 goals and 23 points in 67 games a season ago. He needs much more production than that to help these Otters win.
* Kyle Pettit has become a key figure on defense, the penalty kill
Kyle Pettit

Kyle Pettit

and faceoffs. He will be a key figure in those aspects of the game this season.
But offense was non-existent the first two seasons (8 goals, 16 points in 120 games), even after he focused more on his offensive game last offseason. He needs to at least double those numbers this year.
Nick Betz has been a grinder on the third and fourth lines in his three-year career. But every once in awhile, he shows glimpses of offensive skill. If he becomes more of a prototypical power forward. He doesn’t have to be Michael Blunden, who improved from 10 goals and 17 points as a rookie in 2002-03 to 46 goals and 84 points in his fourth and final season in 2005-06.

- Victor Fernandes

Top returning scorers

Nick Betz

Nick Betz


C Connor McDavid – 28 goals, 71 assists, 99 points, 7 PPG, 2 SHG (56 games)
C Dylan Strome – 10 goals, 29 assists, 39 points, 2 PPG (60 games)
D Travis Dermott – 3 goals, 25 assists, 28 points, 1 PPG (67 games)
C Jake Evans – 11 goals, 7 assists, 18 points (57 games)
RW Nick Betz – 5 goals, 13 assists, 18 points (66 games)
RW Joel Wigle – 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points (41 games)
D Darren Raddysh – 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 point, 1 PPG (60 games)
C Kyle Pettit – 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, 1 SHG (53 games)
Note: Lists players expected to return

Up next: Pelech has moved on to the pros. So who will be the Otters’ No. 1 D? Find out Wednesday on the Shootout blog and Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey.

* Let’s talk Otters: Join Victor Fernandes for the training camp edition of Otters Talk on Monday 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: August 18th, 2014

Erie Otters C Dylan Strome (#19) faces a big second OHL season ahead of him (Erie Times-News)

Erie Otters C Dylan Strome (#19) faces a big second OHL season ahead of him (Erie Times-News)

Look beyond Dylan Strome‘s offensive numbers to find just how good of a debut season he had with the Erie Otters.
He finished sixth among all rookies with 39 points (10 goals, 39 points in 60 games), well behind the one player picked ahead of him in the 2013 OHL draft – Ottawa C Travis Konecny (league-best 26 goals and 70 points in 63 games). But Strome (No. 2 overall pick) arguably developed the most well-rounded game among that group a season ago.
Strome didn’t have to be a front-end scorer for the Otters a season ago. The league’s third-highest scoring team (312 goals) had plenty of dangerous offensive performers, led by Connor Brown (45-83-128), Dane Fox (64-43-107), Connor McDavid (28-71-99) and Andre Burakovsky (41-46-87).
Only McDavid is assured of returning this season. So it’s time for Strome to take his games, especially on offense, to the next level. He has the size, speed, skill and work ethic to have a huge year.
He’s already projected as a top-10 pick in the 2015 NHL draft. He has the demeanor and maturity to block that out and focus on the task at hand – keeping the Otters among the top teams in the league for a second straight season.

Travis Konecny

Travis Konecny

2013-14 OHL rookie scoring leaders
C Travis Konecny, Ottawa – 26 goals, 44 assists, 70 points (63 games)
C Mitchell Marner, London – 13 goals, 46 assists, 59 points (64 games)
LW Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie – 24 goals, 27 assists, 51 points (68 games)
RW Nick Magyar, Kitchener – 20 goals, 26 assists, 46 points (66 games)
RW Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie – 19 goals, 21 assists, 40 points (62 games)
C Dylan Strome, Erie – 10 goals, 29 assists, 39 points (60 games)

Up next: Will the real Darren Raddysh please step forward? Find out the answer to question Monday on the Shootout blog and Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey.

* 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: May 14th, 2014

OHL All-Star Team
First team (voting points in parentheses)

C – Scott Laughton, Oshawa (62)
LW – Dane Fox, Erie (83)
RW – Connor Brown, Erie (88)
D – Aaron Ekblad, Barrie (93)
D – Slater Koekkoek, Windsor (55)
G – Alex Nedeljkovic, Plymouth (67)
Coach – D.J. Smith, Oshawa (48)

Second Team
C – Connor McDavid, Erie (61)
LW Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (28)
RW – Scott Kosmachuk, Guelph (50)
D – Adam Pelech, Erie (52)
D – Nikita Zadorov, London (51)
G – Matt Murray, Sault Ste. Marie (57)
Coach – Kris Knoblauch, Erie (47)

Third Team
C – Sam Bennett, Kingston (38)
LW – Max Domi, London (23)
RW – Nick Baptiste, Sudbury (19)
D – Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie (34)
D – Matt Finn, Guelph (27)
G – Oscar Dansk, Erie (29)
Coach – Scott Walker, Guelph (38)
 

 

Posted: May 9th, 2014

Erie Otters Fs Connor Brown and Connor McDavid captured OHL awards. Now they have a chance to add CHL honors to their resume. The CHL announced today the finalists for 10 major awards that will be presented at the league’s annual Awards Ceremony on May 24 in London, Ontario. Brown, the OHL’s reigning Red Tilson Trophy winner as Most Outstanding Player, is a nominee for Sportsnet Player of the Year and Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer. McDavid is nominated for Subway Scholastic Player of the Year and AutoTrader.ca Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.

Here are the finalists for those four awards:

Sportsnet Player of the Year
Connor Brown (Erie – OHL)
Anthony Mantha (Val-d-Or – QMJHL)
Sam Reinhart (Kootenay – WHL)

Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer
Connor Brown (Erie – OHL
Mitch Holmberg (Spokane – WHL)
Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or – QMJHL)

Subway Scholastic Player of the Year
Jeremy Gregoire (Baie-Comeau – QMJHL)
Connor McDavid (Erie – OHL)
Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon – WHL)

AutoTrader.ca Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year
Frederik Gaudreau (Drummondville – QMJHL)
Connor McDavid (Erie – OHL)
Sam Reinhart (Kootenay – WHL)

 

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 25th, 2014

GUELPH, Ontario – There isn’t much to say about the Erie Otters’ season-ending 5-0 loss to Guelph in Game 5 of the OHL’s Western Conference finals.
It was all Storm from start to finish of a dominant performance, starting with 3 special-teams goals in the first period and ending with Justin Nichols’ 40-save effort.
The Otters had their moments – in this game and in this series. But aside from their Game 4 win on home ice, the Otters failed to capitalize on their chances in this series.
“Ultimately, they were the better team in these games,” Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

Check out the post-game news conference with Knoblauch and captain Connor Brown here

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

Now that looked like the Erie Otters club that won 52 games in the regular season.
The Otters finally played their game for the first time in this best-of-7 Western Conference championship series against Guelph in a game they had to win – Game 4 tonight at Erie Insurance Arena. It took facing playoff elimination and the end of their season to bring that out of this team. But they needed something after losing three straight in disappointing fashion.

* Goaltending - Devin Williams shook a subpar Game 3 – 5 goals on 27 shots before being pulled early in the third period – and two first-period goals (including one on the game’s first shot for the second straight night) to make 26 saves tonight.
Williams made the saves he needed to make – and a few more he had to make to keep momentum in the Otters’ favor. He (and Oscar Dansk, for that matter) didn’t make those saves in the first three games.
But tonight, Williams stymied the Storm on a couple of break-ins and a few odd-man rushes to maintain the two-goal lead.

* Responsible defense - The Otters allowed an early goal for the second straight game, but that wasn’t too alarming, even in that must-win situation. This team gave up early goals at times throughout the season, and they responded in typical fashion – blocking shots, clearing out the front of the net and limiting rebounds. They were finally back at it on D tonight.

* Puck possession & hard drives to the net - The Storm didn’t score over the final 2 periods. The D deserves credit, so do a group of forwards who helped out the D with puck possession and patience on the offensive end. And credit linemates Connor Brown and Dane Fox for looking like the players that led the OHL with 128 points (Brown) and 64 goals (Fox).
Brown had 2 goals and an assist. Fox had his first goal of the series and assist. And both had more chances to score.

But now comes the bigger test – Game 5 in Guelph on Friday night. The Otters are 0-5 in Sleeman Centre this season, including 5-4 and 7-2 losses in the first two games of the series. Storm captain Matt Finn said they were a bit overconfident because of the 3-0 series lead. Head coach Scott Walker said his team didn’t match the intensity that they expected to see from the Otters. I can’t imagine that will happen again Friday. The Storm want to close it out that night, because if they lose then it’s a brand-new series heading back to Erie for Game 6 on Saturday.

- Victor Fernandes

 

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