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 ‘Cory Genovese’
Posted: August 22nd, 2014

Connor McDavid heads into 3rd - and likely - final season with the Erie Otters (Erie Times-News)

Connor McDavid heads into 3rd – and likely – final season with the Erie Otters (Erie Times-News)

Connor McDavid arrived in Erie two years ago with an immense spotlight around him that seemingly extended from one end of North America to the other. The OHL’s most highly anticipated prospect in recent memory has been as advertised – and more – on the way to being a cornerstone of the Otters’ long-awaited turnaround a season ago and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
But the face of the franchise – and the league – hasn’t been the consensus leader of the Otters until now. Expect him to wear the ‘C’ in what should be one of the more uniquely challenging season for an Otters’ captain.
These Otters have potential, but they will be markedly younger and less experienced than the team Connor Brown led to a franchise-record 52 wins and its first trip to the conference finals since the 2001-02 league championship season. McDavid will have to keep this team even-keeled through the highs and lows – something he didn’t need to do the past two seasons – while dealing ramped-up distractions during his draft year.
So who will wear the As worn by Michael Curtis, Troy Donnay and Adam Pelech last season?
Donnay would get one, or D Kurtis MacDermid, if either returns to the team for their OA season. Yet no one on the current roster instantly jumps out at me. D/W Cory Genovese and RW Joel Wigle are the most experienced players on the team. But being a veteran doesn’t automatically make a player the right candidate.
Goaltenders have enough pressure on them to be the last line of defense, so count Devin Williams out. C Dylan Strome is a future captain in the making, but it may too much to ask a high-profile 17-year-old to take on that role in his second season.
So upon further review, here are two choices I would make – D Travis
Travis Dermott

Travis Dermott

Dermot
t and C Kyle Pettit, two hard-working players on and off the ice who have the even-keeled temperament needed to provide a calming influence. After that, veterans like Fs Jake Evans and Nick Betz need to step up into a possible alternate’s role.
Ultimately, though, this is McDavid’s team. He has the right makeup to lead the way.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The Williams’ era in net finally begins this season. Can he become the next great goaltender in Otters’ history? Find out on the Shootout blog and Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey on Saturday.

* 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 21st, 2014

The Erie Otters will miss Adam Pelech's strong play and leadership on defense this season. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters will miss Adam Pelech’s strong play and leadership on defense this season. (Erie Times-News)

Adam Pelech quietly went about his business on and off the ice in his four seasons with the Otters. Sometimes, you took for granted his importance, especially on defense, because of his consistency.
But if he doesn’t rejoin the Otters (and I don’t foresee a scenario in which the New York Islanders would return him to Erie instead of assigning him to Bridgeport in the AHL), the Otters surely will feel the void, especially in regards to his leadership.
He was No. 1 on the blue line, even with veterans like Spencer Abraham, Troy Donnay, Cory Genovese and Kurtis MacDermid around him. Pelech spearheaded a unit that evolved from the worst in the OHL from 2011-13 into the best last season.
He was steady, a calming influence, led by example and made his points to teammates stick because he picked his spots to be vocal. Someone has to step into role for a unit that will be younger than a year ago.
Here’s my vote – Travis Dermott.
He’s a star in the making. He’s a smooth, steady player at both ends of the ice.
Travis Dermott

Travis Dermott

The game seems to slow down around him when he has the puck. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Best of all, no situation seems overwhelming to him. He’s a calm, cool player, which the Otters will need on a young defense.
Mark Seidel, a former assistant general manager with the Otters who now serves as North American Central Scouting’s chief scout, has compared Dermott to young Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Morgan Rielly, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft who played 73 games as a 20-year-old rookie last season.
“He’s going to play a huge role on that back end next year,” Seidel said of Dermott before the draft in June. And he will play that role well, which should improve his odds of being picked in the first round of 2015 draft.

Projected depth chart – defense
(OHL experience, regular season only)
Cory Genovese – 176 games
Darren Raddysh – 84 games
Travis Dermott – 67 games
Cole Mayo – 2 games (3rd round, 2013)
Jesse Saban – 0 games (2nd round, 2013)
Note: Donnay (N.Y. Rangers) and/or MacDermid (L.A. Kings) could be returned for their overage seasons. Justin Felker has chosen to enroll in and play for a Canadian university.

Up next: The Devin Williams era finally begins in Erie, as he faces the challenge of being the Otters’ No. 1 goaltender. Find out more Thursday on the Shootout blog and on 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 in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 20th, 2014

Erie Otters D Cory Genovese made a pointed comment on Twitter, presumably about the OHL’s latest rule changes regarding fighting and other contact- related penalties…

“(OHL commissioner and CHL president) Dave Branch is ruining junior hockey. If you’re scared to get hurt or scared your son will get hurt, sign up for a different sport #OHL”

I don’t necessarily agree with his statement. I see the merits of scaling back fighting in the game, but not taking it completely out of the game.
But I commend him for not holding back about how he feels. He has built his OHL career on a physical style of play, and his share of fights. Sounds like he feels hamstrung when it comes to playing his game.

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 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 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: March 21st, 2014

Now that I have a few moments to think about the back-and-forth affair that was Game 1 of the Erie Otters’ Western Conference quarterfinal series with Saginaw, here’s a few random thoughts…

* The Otters are set to stay in Erie through the 2018-19 season. It’s amazing how much has changed in the past 2 years, starting with the on-ice success and remodeled arena. It seemed like all the talk around this franchise was centered on the relocation rumors. There hasn’t been a word of that all season long. And perhaps, we won’t be talking about that for at least the next 5 years.
* Playoff jitters were obvious, but the players that seemed to overcome that really well were the rookies, namely Dylan Strome and Travis Dermott. They seemed to be comfortable in that electrified atmosphere. They also contributed three assists in the win.
Travis Wood isn’t a rookie, but he turned in a solid performance in his first postseason game. He used his speed and physicality to draw a penalty that led to a power-play goal.
* The Otters need to do a more consistent job of starting games faster. As G Devin Williams said, this team has been in that situation before, and they have overcome them multiple times. But that 2-0 first-period deficit will be much more difficult to overcome later in the postseason.
* It’s official (at least in my mind) – Andre

Andre Burakovsky

Burakovsky has the quickest shot in the OHL. As strong as Spirit G Jake Paterson was tonight (44 saves), he had no chance to stop Burakovsky’s quick release and accurate wrist shot on the tying goal early in the third period.
* Kudos to the Spirit, who have been throughout a difficult time off the ice but turned in an effort that was good enough to win, if not for the Otters’ potent power play, capped by Dane Fox‘s game-winner.
* Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch hinted at starting Williams in Game 2 Saturday night. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes with Oscar Dansk.
Knoblauch thinks things through, but he also seems to go off feel and hunches as well. I figured he would start Dansk in Game 1, since Knoblauch often said that Dansk is his No. 1 goaltender. But Dansk was pulled from two games late in the regular season, while Williams played well down the stretch. So Knoblauch went with Williams, and more importantly, stuck with him after the two early goals against.
* I’m not surprised that Knoblauch chose Cory Genovese over Darren Raddysh on defense. Raddysh is an up-and-coming player, but Genovese has past playoff experience. You want to have as much experience on the back end as possible at playoff time.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 21st, 2014

The Erie Otters are facing their first OHL playoff game in three years tonight, when they face Saginaw in Game 1 of a Western Conference first-round series tonight at Erie Insurance Arena. I figured they would be excited, and they are. I also figured they would be nervous. But they don’t see to be.
Rookie Dylan Strome appeared calm to make his OHL debut. Same goes for captain Connor Brown said the team was focused and ready to play.
It will be interesting to see how the Spirit react to the start of the playoffs. It’s been a tumultuous time for that team, which is coping with the tragic death of teammate Terry Trafford. Hockey may be difficult to focus on given the circumstances. Or, they could respond with a spirited effort, much like the Loyola Marymount men’s basketball team in the 1990 NCAA Tournament when teammate Hank Gathers unexpectedly passed away.
Anyway, here are tonight’s lineups (with an asterisk next to the starters)…the first thing that jumps out at me is Devin Williams starting in net for the Otters. He has been more consistent than Oscar Dansk recently. But head coach Kris Knoblauch has consistently called Dansk his No. 1 goalie all season.
Also, D Darren Raddysh is scratched tonight. He battled the flu last weekend, but I would he’s a healthy scratch in favor of Cory Genovese.

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Burakovsky-Gaunce-Wigle*
Curtis-Strome-Pettit
Wood-Evans-Betz

DEFENSE
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham*
Dermott-Donnay

GOALTENDERS
Williams*
Dansk

SCRATCHES: D Justin Felker, RW Patrick Murphy, D Darren Raddysh, C Quentin Maksimovich

SAGINAW SPIRIT
FORWARDS

Moutrey-Kea-Sadowy
Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*
Lodge-Stephens-Payne
Bennett-Alexeev-Addison

DEFENSE
Ringuette-Sefton*
Prophet-Graham
Callaghan-DeSousa

GOALTENDERS
Paterson*
Serebryakov

SCRATCHES:G David Ovsjannikov, D Ryan Orban, D Michael Holmes, LW Blake Clarke

Posted: February 21st, 2014

Erie Otters (43-11-2-0) at Sudbury Wolves (30-17-3-6)
When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sudbury Community Arena – Sudbury, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: at Sault Ste. Marie (Saturday, 7:07 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters opened this four-game road trip with a 6-3 loss in Kitchener on Monday and a 2-0 loss in North Bay on Friday. … The Otters haven’t lost more than three games in a row this season. … The Otters are 17-10-1-0 on the road this season, but they have lost three straight. … The Otters face former teammate Connor Crisp, who has 24 goals,

Connor Crisp

46 points and 108 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Wolves this season. … The Otters beat the Wolves 5-2 on Nov. 23 at Erie Insurance Arena. … The Otters are third in the OHL’s Western Conference, three points behind front-running Guelph and three ahead of fourth-place London in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Otters and Storm have 12 games left, while the Knights have 11 left. … The Otters can move within one victory of the franchise’s single-season record of 45 wins held by that 2000-01 club. … RW Connor Brown (40 goals, Otters-record 71 assists, Otters-record and OHL-best 111 points) had an 11-game point streak snapped by the Battalion. … D/LW Cory Genovese returns to Sudbury, where he played 25 games in the 2012-13 season. … The Wolves, one of four teams to clinch playoff spots in the Eastern Conference lead the Central Division and are second in the conference. But they are only one point ahead of Kingston and North Bay. … The Wolves are 13 games over .500 despite having only a plus-5 goal differential (190 for, 185 against). … RW Nicholas Baptiste (37-36-73), LW Nathan Pancel (40-25-65) and C Matthew Campagna (15-50-65) lead the Wolves. … The matchup features four of the league’s top seven goal scorers – the Otters’ Dane Fox (56) and Brown, Pancel and Baptiste for Sudbury.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 4th, 2014

<>STARTING LINEUPS
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Gaunce*-Brown*
Pettit*-Curtis-Wigle
Murphy-Evans-Betz
Maksimovich-Wood-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Dermott-Donnay
Genovese-Abraham*
Felker-Raddysh

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), TBD

OWEN SOUND ATTACK

FORWARDS
Hargrave-Cook-Gabriel*
Smith-Nastasiuk-Milne
Gabor-Gilligan-Brack
Heeps-Szypula-Annecchiarico

DEFENSE
Sharipzyanov-Rose
MacDermid-Schemitsch*
MacArthur-Walters

GOALTENDERS
Brandon Hope
Jack Flinn*

Scratches: RW Jaden Lindo, D Chris Bigras (World Juniors – Canada), LW Kyle Hope (suspension)

Referees: Sean Pindar, Scott Ferguson; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Adam Harris