The struggles for the Erie Otters’ young, injury-plagued defense continued from the start Friday night in a 5-1 loss to the Plymouth Whalers in front of 2,158 at Tullio Arena on Friday night.
The Whalers scored on the power play 3:45 into the games to spark a three-goal barrage in the opening period. The Otters (1-9-0-0), which have lost five straight, has allowed at least four goals in all 10 games. They rank last in the OHL with 58 goals against (5.8 per game).
Tom Wilson scored his first goal of the season on Rickard Rakell and Garrett Meurs. Then at the 12:30 mark of the period, Wilson assisted on Mitchell Heard’s team-leading seventh goal. Heard scored off a rebound, with highly touted rookie J.T. Miller also earning an assist on the play.
Plymouth capped the decisive scoring barrage with a goal at the 17:47 mark, as Meurs redirected Dario Trutmann’s centering pass into his third goal and a 3-0 Whalers’ lead. The Otters gained a bit of momentum after killing off the Whalers’ nearly two-minute, two-man advantage to start the second.
The Whalers (5-4-2-0) stole momentum midway through the period. Jamie Devane turned Michael Whaley’s into a 4-0 lead 8:01 into the middle period. Three minutes later, Wilson scored his second goal on assists from Rakell and Danny Vanderwiel for a 5-0 lead. The Otters finally got on the scoreboard, as Brett Thompson scored on assists from Brett Cook and Greg McKegg with 6:08 left in the period.
Wilson (two goals, assist) and Rakell (three assists) led the Whalers with three points apiece. Meurs had two points while goaltender Matt Mahalak made 22 saves to improve to 3-2-0-0 on the season. Tyson Teichmann made 33 saves for the Otters.
- Victor Fernandes