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 mcdavid’
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 21st, 2014

My colleague, John Dudley, describes the Erie Otters’ troubles well in his column today – “The question isn’t who will be in net for the Erie Otters” for Game 4 Tuesday. “The question is whether it matters.”
Devin Williams and Oscar Dansk had another tough night in goal against Guelph.
The tandem in net allowed seven goals on 41 shots, and have surrendered 19 goals on 97 shots in the first three games of the series. But as the Otters face a 3-0 series deficit, they face face more glaring issues.

Here’s just a few thoughts on that…

* The No. 1 line of Connor Brown, Dane Fox and Connor McDavid have been nearly non-existent in the series. The Storm have given McDavid (0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points) no time and space by taking away time and space and using a physical style. Without McDavid at his playmaking best, Brown (2-0-2) hasn’t enjoyed as many quality scoring chances as he did all season long. Fox (0-1-1) hasn’t played an active role on the offensive end throughout the series. Meanwhile, his frustration level has grown with each passing game – to the tune of 10 penalty minutes and a 10-minute misconduct that ended his evening early in Game 1.

* Puck possession was a huge key to success in the regular season, and in the first two series against Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie. But aside from the start of Games 1 and 2, the Otters haven’t consistently sustained pressure in the offensive end. The more they have the puck, the less opportunity the Storm have to score.

* The Otters haven’t been mentally tough — letdowns after strong starts, allowing goals moments after scoring goals of their own, one bad penalty after another (13 short-handed situations overall in Game 3 tonight). And the Storm seemingly have taken advantage of every mistake.

* The Otters haven’t been aggressive on defense, which have given the Storm plenty of time and space. You can’t give that team any time and space and expect to win. But in the first three games, it seems like the Otters showed too much respect to the Storm from a defensive perspective. That has made life difficult for Williams (who will start Game 4 Tuesday) and Dansk. Perfect example – the Otters allowed only seven quality chances in the first two periods of Game 2 on Friday. The Storm scored on five of them.
 

Here’s what head coach Kris Knoblauch and D Adam Pelech had to say in the post-game news conference… 

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
Oscar Dansk

GUELPH, Ontario – Oscar Dansk‘s struggles in net continued tonight, but he had plenty of help in allowing seven goals on 30 shots in a 7-2 loss to Guelph tonight in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
The OHL’s stingiest scoring defense in the regular season has been unable to handle wave after wave of attacks from the league’s highest-scoring offense this season. The Otters succumbed to a series of 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s, especially in the third period. The Storm deserve lots of credit, because they capitalized on scoring chances with their speed, pinpoint passing and even better shots. But the Otters need to slow down the Attack in a pair of must-win games in Erie on Monday and Tuesday.
“We’ve got to be better,” D Spencer Abraham said. “We know we can’t give them much. They have so much talent up front, much like us. Their top 6 is amongst the best in the league. … Everyone just has to tighten up. One mistake here and there, and it’s been ending up in the back of our net.” 

That begins with better puck possession, which was a staple through the Otters’ success in the regular season and through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Otters started strong for the second straight game, to the tune of a 13-1 advantage in shots. “They capitalized on their opportunities. We didn’t,” head coach Kris Knoblauch said.
He needs more consistent play from the team’s top line of OHL goals leader Dane Fox, OHL scoring leader Connor Brown and second-year phenom Connor McDavid. They were held to one point in Game 2 – McDavid’s assist on D Cory Genovese‘s goal – and four points (including one goal) in the first two games. They were arguably the league’s best line in the regular season, and were on fire against Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie. It’s time to raise their game again.

*** As expected, Knoblauch didn’t reveal whether Dansk or Devin Williams will start in goal for Game 3. Yet he did say he started Dansk tonight because Williams needed rest. Williams allowed five goals on 26 shots in a Game 1 loss. But before that, he and the Otters had nine days off after eliminating Sault Ste. Marie in a four-game sweep. So how was he tired?

*** The Otters deserved a better fate early in the game for the second straight night. Shots were 13-1 Otters at one point in the first period. Yet the Storm scored first on their 2nd shot. The Otters built a 16-9 shot advantage in the period, but were still down 3-0. It just shows strong how dangerous the Storm really are.

- 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 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday 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

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
No. 1 Oshawa vs. No. 2 North Bay
Battalion lead series 1-0
Game 1 – North Bay 1, Oshawa 0
Game 2 – Sunday at Oshawa, 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Tuesday at North Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Wednesday at North Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Oshawa, 7:05 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 26 at North Bay, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 28 at Oshawa, 7:05 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 17th, 2014

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 1 (best-of-7 series)
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)
Season series: Guelph won 4-2
Playoff recap: Erie def. No. 6 Saginaw 4 games to 1 in conference quarterfinals, def. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie 4-0 in conference semifinals; Guelph def. No. 8 Plymouth 4-1, def. No. 4 London, 4-1
Players to watch
Erie – G Devin Williams (8-0-1 record, 1.88 goals-against average, .934 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Brendan Gaunce (5-9-14), C Connor McDavid (4-10-14), RW Connor Brown (4-9-13), LW Andre Burakovsky (8-2-10), D Adam Pelech (2-2-4, plus-8 rating); Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (5-10-15), LW Jason Dickinson (4-10-14), G Justin Nichols (8-2-0, 2.77, .919, 1 SHO), LW Kerby Rychel (2-11-13), RW Scott Kosmachuk (6-6-12), C Robby Fabbri (5-4-9), D Matt Finn(2-3-5, +7)

Justin Nichols

Fast facts: Both teams won 52 games on the way to finishing with the top two records in the regular season. … Williams stopped 119-of-122 shots in the sweep of Sault Ste. Marie (0.73 GAA, .975 save percentage) on the way to earning CHL goaltender of the week honors. … Otters C Kyle Pettit (gash across left calf) is expected to play tonight. … Storm LW Brock McGinn (43-42-85 in the regular season, 2-1-3 in three playoff games) completes an eight-game suspension tonight. … These teams have six players among the top 10 in playoff scoring (Fox, Gaunce, McDavid and Brown for the Otters; Mitchell and Dickinson for the Storm). … Fabbri (4-3-7 in three games) is the reigning CHL player of the week. … Gaunce and LW Michael Curtis (2-3-5) reached the conference finals with Belleville a season ago. … Gaunce has points in seven straight games and eight of nine playoff games. … WJET-AM/1400 will broadcast every game in the series.
Outlook: The Otters need to win at least one game in Guelph to capture the series. They faced – and conquered – that same challenge against Sault Ste. Marie in the last round.
Prediction: Otters in 7 games

Posted: April 11th, 2014

McDavid.ConnorThe Erie Otters’ No. 1 line of Connor Brown, Dane Fox and Connor McDavid moved another step closer to each winning an OHL regular-season award.

McDavid joined Fox – the league’s overager of the year – as an award winner Friday, as the second-year center captured the William Hanley Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player after ranking among the league leaders with 71 assists, 99 points and a plus-47 rating. He had only 20 penalty minutes, which was the lowest among the top 12 scorers overall.

McDavid is the second player in franchise history (Brad Boyes, 2001 and 2002) and third 17-year-old in league history (Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, 1978 with Sault Ste. Marie and Kirk Muller, 1983 with Guelph Platers) to earn the honor. McDavid had 71 voting points to lead a list that included Oshawa left wing Michael Dal Colle (50 points) and London center Chris Tierney (35 points) after finishing second in voting to Belleville center Tyler Graovac as a 16-year-old rookie a season ago. McDavid will receive the trophy at the OHL Awards Ceremony on June 3 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Brown could McDavid and Fox at the annual event, since the veteran winger and captain is a finalist for the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s most outstanding player. McDavid also will be the league’s nominee for CHL’s Sportsman of the Year, which will be announced at the CHL Awards event May 24 in London, Ontario, as part of the Memorial Cup tournament.

“It’s a tremendous honor to win this award,” McDavid said in a statement. “It’s really important to me to be respectful on the ice, and there’s a reward for that.”

William Hanley Trophy voting

(voting points in parenthese)

C Connor McDavid, Erie (71) – 28 goals, 71 assists, 99 points, +47 rating, 20 PIM (56 games)

LW Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (50) – 39 goals, 56 assists, 95 points, 34 PIM (67 games)

C Chris Tierney, London (35) – 40 goals, 49 assists, 89 points, +44, 12 PIM (67 games)

 

 

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

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