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 ‘dane fox’
Posted: March 26th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – The Erie Otters are one of five teams that can close out first-round series tonight. They are up 3-1 against Saginaw heading into Game 5 tonight at Dow Event Center following a 7-3 win in Game 4 Wednesday night. Check out interviews with head coach Kris Knoblauch, LW Dane Fox and D Adam Pelech following a win that moved the Otters one step closer to capturing their first OHL playoff series win since beating Sarnia in the opening round in 2004.
Meanwhile, London can sweep Windsor tonight at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, while Oshawa, Kingston and Barrie also can cap off 4-game sweeps tonight on the road.
Here’s the updated schedule…

Western Conference
No. 1 Guelph vs. No. 8 Plymouth

Game 1 – Guelph 5, Plymouth 2
Game 2 – Guelph 3, Plymouth 0
Game 3 – Plymouth 2, Guelph 1
Game 4 – Guelph 7, Plymouth 2
Game 5 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Plymouth, 4 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
Guelph leads series 3-1

No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie vs. No. 7 Owen Sound
Game 1 – Owen Sound 5, Sault Ste. Marie 4, OT
Game 2 – Sault Ste. Marie 7, Owen Sound 3
Game 3 – Sault Ste. Marie 5, Owen Sound 3
Game 4 – Sault Ste. Marie 2, Owen Sound 0
Game 5 – Friday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Owen Sound, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
Sault Ste. Marie leads 3-1

No. 3 Erie vs. No. 6 Saginaw
Game 1 – Erie 4, Saginaw 3
Game 2 – Erie 4, Saginaw 3, OT
Game 3 – Saginaw 7, Erie 6, OT
Game 4 – Erie 7, Saginaw 3
Game 5 – Today at Saginaw, 7:11 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 6 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Erie leads series 3-1

No. 4 London vs. No. 5 Windsor
Game 1 – London 6, Windsor 1
Game 2 – London 6, Windsor 3
Game 3 – London 10, Windsor 2
Game 4 – Today at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at London, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – Monday at Windsor, 7:05 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at London, 7 p.m.*
London leads series 3-0

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Oshawa vs. No. 8 Mississauga

Game 1 – Oshawa 6, Mississauga 0
Game 2 – Oshawa 3, Mississauga 2, OT
Game 3 – Oshawa 6, Mississauga 5, 2OT
Game 4 – Today at Mississauga, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Oshawa, 7:35 p.m.*
Game 6 – Sunday at Mississauga, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at Oshawa, 7:05 p.m.*
Oshawa leads series 3-0

No. 2 North Bay vs. No. 7 Niagara
Game 1 – North Bay 4, Niagara 0
Game 2 – Niagara 3, North Bay 2
Game 3 – Niagara 2, North Bay 0
Game 4 – Today at Niagara, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday ay North Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Niagara, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at North Bay, 7 p.m.*
Niagara leads series 2-1

No. 3 Kingston vs. No. 6 Peterborough
Game 1 – Kingston 4, Peterborough 1
Game 2 – Kingston 5, Peterborough 3, OT
Game 3 – Kingston 4, Peterborough 2
Game 4 – Today at Peterborough, 7:05 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Kingston, 7 p.m.*
Game 6 – Sunday at Peterborough, 7:05 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at Kingston, 7 p.m.*
Kingston leads series 3-0

No. 4 Barrie vs. No. 5 Sudbury
Game 1 – Barrie 3, Sudbury 2
Game 2 – Barrie 4, Sudbury 3, OT
Game 3 – Barrie 6, Sudbury 4
Game 4 – Today at Sudbury, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Friday at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – Sunday at Sudbury, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – Tuesday at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.*
Barrie leads series 3-0

* If necessary

Posted: March 26th, 2014

Here are the lineups for tonight’s Game 4 between the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit…

Maksimovich (OHL playoff debut)-Pettit-Betz

Pelech-Raddysh (OHL playoff debut)*


SCRATCHES: D Justin Felker, RW Patrick Murphy, D Darren Raddysh


Locke/Alexeev-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)



SCRATCHES:D Ryan Orban, D Michael Holmes

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference quarterfinals, Game 4 (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 6 Saginaw Spirit

When: Today, 7:11 p.m.
Where: Dow Event Center – Saginaw, Mich.
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Series record: Erie leads 2-1
Players to watch
Erie – LW Dane Fox (3 goals, 3 assist, 6 points), LW Andre Burakovsky (5-0-5), C Brendan Gaunce (2-3-5), RW Connor Brown (1-3-4), C Connor McDavid (0-3-4), G Devin Williams (2-0-1 record, 3.44 goals-against average, .879 save percentage); Saginaw – G Jake Paterson (1-1-1, 4.53, .901), C Kristoff Kontos (1-6-7), C Eric Locke (2-3-5), C Jimmy Lodge (2-2-4), LW Luke Cairns (2-1-3, former Otter), RW Cody Payne (2-1-3)
Fast facts: The Otters had a 10-game winning streak dating back to the final eight games of the regular season snapped in the Game 3 loss on Monday. … The seven goals in Game 3 were the second-most allowed by the Otters this season (8 vs. Windsor on Sept. 28). … The Otters are 3-9 when allowing five goals or more this season. … The Otters, who led the league with 170 goals against in the regular season, have allowed 13 goals in the first three games of this series. … Kontos is tied for the league lead with seven points in the playoffs, one ahead of Fox. … Burakovsky leads the league with five goals. … The Otters have outshot Saginaw 142-91 in the series. … Erie has played two overtime games in the series, one shy of tying the franchise record of three set in 2005 and matched in 2011. … The Otters are 10-9 all-time in overtime games in their playoff history.
Outlook: Payne’s overtime winner Monday kept the Otters from taking control of the series. Now the Spirit can do the same with the next two games at home.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 6 Saginaw
Otters lead series 2-1

Game 1 – Erie 4, Saginaw 3
Game 2 – Erie 4, Saginaw 3 (OT)
Game 3 – Saginaw 7, Erie 6 (OT)
Game 4 – Today at Saginaw, 7:11 p.m.
Game 5 – Thursday at Saginaw, 7:11 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday at Erie, 6 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.*

Posted: March 24th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – The Otters look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over Saginaw in Game 3 tonight at Dow Event Center. How they fare against the Spirit’s top line of Kristoff Kontos, Eric Locke and former Otter Luke Cairns will play in a key role in making that happen.
The trio combined for four goals and 11 points in the first two games at Erie Insurance Arena. Otters Ds Spencer Abraham and Kurtis MacDermid, who were primarily matched up against that line in those games, is a combined minus-7 in the series.
* G Oscar Dansk makes his OHL playoff debut tonight. Apparently, he didn’t find out until around 5:30 or so. I spoke with G Devin Williams, a Saginaw native, about 15 minutes earlier, and he said they hadn’t been told who was starting in net.
* C Kyle Pettit, who missed the final month of the regular season with an upper-body injurt, says he felt good in the first two games of this series.
In other news, LW Dane Fox (3 goals, 1 assist in 2 games) was considered for the league’s player of the week honor. It went to Oshawa’s Hunter Smith, who had a goal and six assists in two games.

The Otters have the same lineup from Game 2, with the exception of Dansk in net. Jake Evans has moved to C on the 4th line, with Pettit out to the wing. Daniel DeSousa moves from D to 4th line C for Andrey Alexeev, while Sean Callaghan returns to the lineup after missing Game 2.




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


Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*



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

Posted: March 22nd, 2014

The Erie Otters were nervous during Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against Saginaw on Friday night. It nearly cost them.
They looked relaxed in Game tonight – too relaxed down the stretch in regulation. “I think we got a little too comfortable. That happens sometimes,” left wing Dane Fox said. They need to find a happy medium now that the series head to Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., for Games 3 and 4 and, possibly, Game 5.

* Rookies Travis Dermott and Dylan Strome got into the act for the second straight game, this time with an assist apiece. Dermott has three points in the series, while Strome has two. Seems like the pressure of the playoffs hasn’t gotten to these young players.

It will be interesting to see how head coach Kris Knoblauch handles his goaltending situation moving forward in this series and beyond. Traditionally, coaches want one goaltender to get hot and run with the No. 1 job. Devin Williams has played well enough so far, but Oscar Dansk is a quality goaltender who has succeeded in the playoff atmosphere (see the most recent IIHF World Junior Championship)…

Posted: March 20th, 2014

Check out head coach Kris Knoblauch‘s take on the series in this edition of Knoblauch Korner

Western Conference quarterfinals (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 6 Saginaw Spirit

Season records: Erie 52-14-2-0, Saginaw 33-30-4-1
Season series: Erie won 3-1
Players to watch

Oscar Dansk

Erie – RW Connor Brown (45 goals, 83 assists, 128 points in the regular season), LW Dane Fox (64-43-107), C Connor McDavid (28-71-99), D Adam Pelech (9-45-54, plus-52 rating), G Oscar Dansk (29-9-1-0 record, 2.39 goals-against average, .909 save percentage, 6 shutouts)
Saginaw – D Jesse Graham (11-43-54, +3), C Kristoff Kontos (25-50-75), C Eric Locke (26-34-60), G Jake Paterson (24-18-2-0, 3.41, .906, 2 SO), LW Luke Cairns (16-24-40, former Otter)
Fast facts: The Otters finished the regular season with an eight-game winning streak and a league-best 30-3-1-0 record at home. … Brown, Fox and McDavid finished among the top four scorers overall to lead an offense that ranked third with a franchise-record 312 goals. … Erie led the league with a franchise-best 170 goals against, which was at least 17 fewer than any other team. … Erie had seven players with 50 points or more, while the Spirit had three. … Pelech and Graham finished tied for third in points among defensemen. … Cairns had 10 goals and 26 points in 42 games since being acquired from Belleville. … Erie native Brian Allen has served as the Spirit’s equipment manager for the past four seasons.
Outlook: The Otters have a decided advantage over the Spirit in net, on defense and up front. The Spirit also enter the playoffs coping with the recent death of teammate Terry Trafford. Both will be too much for the Spirit to overcome.
Prediction: Otters in 4 games

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 16th, 2014

Connor Brown

Erie Otters RW Connor Brown (45 goals, 83 assists, 128 points) and left wing Dane Fox (64-43-107) are the first players in franchise history to lead the league in goals, assists and points.
C Connor McDavid (28-71-99) finished second in assists and fourth in points. Brown and Fox finished first and second in power-play goals (20 and 18, respectively) while RW Andre Burakovsky tied for fifth with 15. Fox tied for the lead with 11 game-winning goals.
D Kurtis MacDermid topped the list with 165 penalty minutes. C Dylan Strome finished fifth among rookies with 39 points (10 goals, 29 assists).
G Oscar Dansk led the league in goals-against average (2.39) and tied for the lead with six shutouts. G Devin Williams tied for third with five shutouts and tied for fifth in GAA (2.57). They led a defense that set a new franchise record with 170 goals against, one fewer than the 2000-01 club.

League leaders at a glance
1. Dane Fox (Erie) – 64
2. Andreas Athanasiou (Barrie) – 49
3. Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph) – 48
6. Connor Brown (Erie) – 45
9. Andre Burakovsky (Erie) – 41

Andre Burakovsky

1. Connor Brown (Erie) – 83
2. Connor McDavid (Erie) – 71
3. Sergey Tolchinsky (Sault Ste. Marie) – 60

1. Connor Brown (Erie) – 128
2. Dane Fox (Erie) – 107
3. Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph) – 100
4. Connor McDavid (Erie) – 99
T14. Andre Burakovsky (Erie) – 87

Defense scoring
1. Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia) – 71
2. Matt Finn (Guelph) – 61

Adam Pelech

3. Adam Pelech (Erie) – 54

Rookie scoring
1. Travis Konecny (Ottawa) – 70
2. Mitchell Marner (London) – 58
3. Andrew Mangiapane (Barrie) – 51
5. Dylan Strome (Erie) – 39

Power-play goals
1. Connor Brown (Erie) – 20
2. Dane Fox (Erie) – 18
T4. Andre Burakovsky (Erie) – 15

Short-handed goals
1. Barclay Goodrow (North Bay) – 7
T5. Connor Brown (Erie) – 4
T5. Michael Curtis (Erie) – 4

Michael Curtis scored two goals in the Otters' record-setting 46th win of the season.

Penalty minutes
1. Kurtis MacDermid (Erie) – 165
2. Joshua Chapman (Sarnia) – 154
3. Brendan Lemieux (Barrie) – 145
11. Dane Fox (Erie) – 122

Goaltending wins
1. Justin Nichols (Guelph) – 35
2. Matt Murray (Sault Ste. Marie) – 32
3. Daniel Altshuller (Oshawa) – 31
4. Oscar Dansk (Erie) – 29
T12. Devin Williams (Erie) – 23

Goals-against average

Oscar Dansk

1. Oscar Dansk (Erie) – 2.39
T2. Anthony Stolarz (London) – 2.52
T2. Jake Smith (North Bay) – 2.52
T5. Devin Williams (Erie) – 2.57

Save percentage
1. Anthony Stolarz (London) – .926
8. Oscar Dansk (Erie) – .909
10. Devin Williams (Erie) – .905

T1. Oscar Dansk (Erie) – 6
T1. Matt Murray (Sault Ste. Marie) – 6
T3. Devin Williams (Erie) – 5

Posted: March 14th, 2014

Erie Otters (50-14-2-0) at Plymouth Whalers (27-32-0-7)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Compuware Arena – Plymouth, Mich.
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Sarnia (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters moved within three points of first-place Guelph in the race for the OHL’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs with a 3-2 win in Windsor on Friday night. They also are three points ahead of fourth-place London. …
The Otters needs a win and a Guelph loss to Sarnia at home to remain in contention for the top spot overall. … Erie can clinch at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with a win tonight and a London loss to Owen Sound at home. … The Otters have won six straight and seven of their last eight games, including a 6-1 win over Windsor last Friday at Erie Insurance Arena. … They can set the franchise record for points in a season (102 in 2000-01) with one point, as well as set a new franchise mark with their 22nd road win of the season. … RW

Connor Brown

Connor Brown (45 goals, 80 assists, 123 points) can finish among the top three in those three offensive categories, as well as power-play goals (20). … C Connor McDavid (25-70-95) needs five points in the last two games to join Brown and LW Dane Fox (62-41-103) as the only players in franchise history – and potentially the only players in the league this season – to reach 100 points. …. If McDavid reaches 100 points, the Otters would be the first club with three players to top the century mark in the same season since London’s Patrick Kane (145 points), Sergei Kostitsyn (131) and Sam Gagner (118) in the 2006-07 season. … G Oscar Dansk needs one win to

Oscar Dansk

become the second goaltender in franchise history with 30 wins (Ramis Sadikov, 36 in 2010-11). Dansk also has the second-best goals-against average (2.35) in Otters’ history (Adam Munro, 2.31 in 2000-01). … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) skated this week, but he didn’t play Friday in Windsor. … Plymouth has clinched the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and will face Guelph, Erie or London in the first round. … The Otters routed Plymouth 11-2 in their last meeting on March 5. Erie can complete a sweep of the four-game season series with a win.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 8th, 2014

Check out post-game interviews with head coach Kris Knoblauch and forwards Connor McDavid and Brendan Gaunce following the Erie Otters’ 7-3 comeback win over Kitchener tonight…

Kitchener Rangers (22-39-2-1) at Erie Otters (48-14-2-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: at Windsor (Thursday, 7:05 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters look to complete a dominant – and perfect – three-game homestand against the Midwest Division rival Rangers. They beat Plymouth and Windsor by a combined 17-3 score. … But Kitchener, who has been eliminated from OHL playoff contention, has been a tough test for the Otters this season. Erie has a 3-2 lead in the season series, but has allowed six goals in three of those games, including a 9-6 home win Nov. 19. However, the Otters have shut out the Rangers twice. … The third-place Otters have pulled within three points of front-running Guelph in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Fourth-place London is one point behind the Otters in fourth. … The Otters set a new franchise single-season record for goals scored in the 6-1 win against the Spitfires on Friday. They enter tonight’s game at 284 goals. … The Otters also can set a new franchise mark for the fewest goals allowed in a season. They stand at 160 goals against. The 2000-01 club holds the mark of 171. … LW Dane Fox (60 goals, 39 assists, 99 points) needs one point to join RW Connor Brown (43-78-121) as the only Otters to reach 100 points in a season. … C Jake Evans (sprained knee) rejoined the lineup Friday. … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) remains out of the lineup. … The Rangers are ninth in the Western Conference. … RW Nick Magyar (17-24-41) is one of the league’s top rookies.

Posted: March 6th, 2014

Windsor Spitfires (36-24-3-0) at Erie Otters (47-14-2-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Kitchener (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters continue a three-game homestand that began Wednesday with an 11-2 win against Plymouth, which set a new franchise record for home wins in a season (27). … The club’s highest goal total since Jan. 14, 2011 (a 12-3 win over Barrie) moved the Otters within three goals of matching the franchise mark of 281 held by the 2010-11 club. They are on pace to score 300 goals. … They also can set a new franchise mark for the fewest goals allowed in a season by surrendering 11 or fewer in their final five regular-season games. The 2000-01 club holds the mark with 171. … The Otters, which have won three straight and four of their last five games, trail front-running Guelph by five points in the race for the OHL’s regular-season title and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. London trails the Otters by one point in the race for third place following a 4-0 win against West Division champion Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday.. … The Otters and Spitfires meet twice in the next week in what could be a preview of a first-round playoff series. The teams split the first two games, with the Otters losing 8-4 in Windsor on Sept. 28 and winning 9-0 at home Jan. 12. … LW Dane Fox (59 goals, 39 assists, 98 points) needs one goal to become the first player in franchise history to score 60 goals and two points to join RW Connor Brown (43-75-118) as the only Otters to reach 100 points. … C Jake Evans (sprained knee) hasn’t been ruled out for this weekend. … G Devin Williams headed home to Saginaw, Mich., earlier this week to take mandatory standardized tests at his home school. He missed Wednesday’s game and could miss this weekend’s games. G prospect Daniel Dekoning was recalled to fill his spot. … The Spitfires are fifth in the Western Conference, but can finish as low as seventh. … RW Joshua Ho-Sang (30-53-83) and C Brady Vail (31-48-79) rank among the league’s top 20 scorers. … D Slater Koekkoek (15-38-53, plus-44) joins Otters D Adam Pelech (9-40-49, +43) among the top six defensemen in scoring and plus-minus.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner here…

Posted: March 1st, 2014

Erie Otters (45-14-2-0) at Saginaw Spirit (30-26-4-1)
When: Today, 7:11p.m.
Where: Dow Event Center – Saginaw, Mich.
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Plymouth (Wednesday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters complete a two-game West Division trip before returning home for a three-game home stand against Plymouth, Windsor (Friday) and Kitchener (next Saturday). … Erie has a chance to make up ground on Midwest Division rivals Guelph and London in the OHL’s Western Conference standings. The Otters are five points behind front-running Guelph and a point behind third-place London in the race for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Storm and Knights are idle tonight. All three teams have seven games left. … The Otters can set the franchise’s single-season record for wins, which they currently share with the 2000-01 club. … They also need 10 points in the standings to equal the mark of 102 points set in 2000-01. … They need to score 18 goals in their last seven games – 2.5 per game – to match the mark of 281 goals set in 2010-11. … They also have allowed 155 goals, which leads the league and stands 16 below the franchise mark of 171 set in 2000-01. … LW Dane Fox (58 goals, 37 assists, 95 points), the league’s top goal scorer, snapped a stretch of four goals in a 16-game span with two goals in a 4-3 win in Sarnia on Friday night, including the game-winner with 38 seconds left in the game. He needs five points to join teammate Connor Brown (41-73-114) as the only players in Otters’ history to reach the 100-point mark. … The Spirit are the sixth team in the West to clinch a playoff spot. They are five points ahead of No. 7 Owen Sound and 10 ahead of No. 8 Plymouth. … The Spirit have won three straight games. … They have scored 227 goals, but allowed 221 goals. … C Kristoff Kontos (23-48-71) leads the

Luke Cairns

Spirit. … LW Luke Cairns, a former Otter, has six goals and 20 points in 35 games with Saginaw. He has 12 goals and 34 points in 54 games between the Spirit and Belleville.

- Victor Fernandes

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