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 ‘Dylan Strome’
Posted: April 2nd, 2014

Erie Otters RW Andre Burakovsky and C Dylan Strome were named the OHL’s player and rookie of the month for March.
Burakovsky, who joins teammates Connor Brown, Dane Fox and Connor McDavid in winning this honor this season, had 14 goals (a league high), 24 points and a plus-22 rating (also a league high) in 12 games. That stretch included a seven-game point streak and a five-point outing that tied a career high in an 8-4 win over Sarnia in the regular-season finale March 15.
Strome led all rookies with 15 points (2 goals, 13 assists), and added a plus-17 rating, in 12 games. He had a career-best three points in an 11-2 win over Plymouth on March 5.

Posted: March 25th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – Luke Cairns waited his entire OHL career to gain consistency in his offensive game. He has achieved it at the right time.
The Saginaw Spirit forward had four goals and six points in his final seven regular-season games, and followed that with two goals and three points in the first three games of this Western Conference quarterfinal series against his former team, the Erie Otters. “I’ve just matured over the years, and realized what I need to do every night,” Cairns said.
Cairns, 19, spent his first three years in Erie before being traded to Belleville last August. Along the way, he said, “I’d have a few good games here and there in Erie, and then I’d fall off the map for the next few games. This year, I think, has been different.” He had 16 goals – a career high – and 40 points – one shy of his career best – in 61 games this season.
“It just happened to be good timing coming into the playoffs,” said Cairns, who has benefited from playing on the No. 1 line alongside Kristoff Kontos and Eric Locke.
* Speaking of the Spirit’s top line: The Otters’ No. 1 line of Connor Brown (45 goals, 83 assists, 128 points), Dane Fox (64-43-107) and Connor McDavid (28-71-99) finished the regular season as three of the league’s top four scorers. But they have combined for one fewer point (4 goals, 15 points) than the Cairns-Kontos-Locke line (5 goals, 15 points) in the first three games of this series. They have headlined a Spirit attack that has scored 13 goals in the series against the league’s top scoring defense this season (170 goals against).
“We’ve got a lot of good offensive forwards,” said Cody Payne, who scored the winning goal in overtime Monday night. “At points we struggled in the season, but we’re starting to find consistency. We’ve got a lot of confidence in our offensive forwards. We’re just doing our jobs.”
* Wigle feeling better: RW Joe

Joel Wigle

l Wigle was helped off the ice in the second period Monday after a knee-on-knee collision with teammate Travis Wood. Yet he returned in the third period and was back on the ice for Tuesday’s practice despite some bruising and stiffness in his knee. “I feel fine. … Nothing I won’t be able to battle through,” Wigle said. “Scooter (head athletic trainer Scott McLay) just took a lot at it. (There’s) nothing wrong with it really.”
* Learning experience: Rookie F Dylan Strome has four points in the series. But he was more concerned with a failed clearing attempt that led to the winning goal Monday.
Strome tried to find linemate Andre Burakovsky along the boards in the Otters’ defensive zone. “I didn’t see Payne come pick it off. Obviously he got a shot off the half wall. I think it maybe got tipped in front. I’m not sure what happened. That stuff happens. You’ve got to flush it and look forward to (tonight).”

* Quote of the day: “We go into this series a

Cody Payne

s underdogs, but we love that. We don’t mind that at all. Now (the Otters) start to think, (and) they’re a little bit on their heels. We have two more games in Saginaw. So we’re just trying to hit them and wear them down.” – Cody Payne, Spirit forward

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 24th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – Tonight’s wild back-and-forth between the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit has left the Otters with a 2-1 series lead in this Western Conference quarterfinal series heading into Game 4 on Wednesday at Dow Event Center.
Head coach Kris Knoblauch wasn’t happy with his team’s subpar defense, while Oscar Dansk wasn’t happy with his performance in his OHL playoff debut – five goals against on 25 shots.
Dansk doesn’t warrant all of the blame. The Otters had breakdown after breakdown against the Spirit, which got more production from the No. 1 line of Kristoff Kontos (2 assists), Eric Locke (goal) and former Otter Luke Cairns (assist) and also had big nights from Jimmy Lodge (2 goals, assist), Dylan Sadowy (2 goals) and OT hero Cody Payne.
The Otters were in rhythm offensively, led Brendan Gaunce (2 goals, assist) and Andre Burakovsky, who scored two more goals to give him five in three games.
Dylan Strome had another solid game with two assists.
But their offensive play wasn’t good enough to overcome the Otters’ play at the other end of the ice. Now they to get back to work at practice Tuesday.
They have plenty work on…

- Victor Fernandes

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 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.




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


Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*



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

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 2nd, 2014

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

SAGINAW, Mich. – The 2013-14 Erie Otters are the winningest team in franchise history.
The Otters recorded their 46th win of the season – a 4-2 victory over Saginaw in front of 4,891 fans at Dow Event Center on Saturday night – to break a tie with the 2000-01 club for the single-season record. The Otters (46-14-2-0) also moved closer to front-running Guelph and ahead of London in the OHL’s Western Conference playoff race.
The Otters move into third place, one point ahead of the idle Knights and three points behind the idle Storm in the chase for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. The Storm and Knights, who have a game in hand on the Otters, face Sault Ste. Marie and Peterborough, respectively, today
The Otters had an early 1-0 lead erased by former teammate Luke Cairns, who scored 26 seconds after Michael Curtis opened the scoring at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the first period. But the Otters’ offensive attack wasn’t done in the first. Erie scored twice in a 33-second span – Patrick Murphy‘s goal 4:07 into the period and Curtis’ second goal at the 4:40 mark – to build a 3-1 lead that grew to a three-goal cushion on Brendan Gaunce‘s power-play score 7:17 into the second period.
The Spirit moved within 4-2 on Jimmy Lodge‘s power-play goal with 1:41 left in the second. But Oscar Dansk capped a 32-save effort, which included six penalty minutes.
Curtis led the way with two goals, while Andre Burakovsky and Dylan Strome had two assists apiece. Lodge led the Spirit (30-27-4-1) with a goal and assist.

Posted: January 25th, 2014

Erie Otters (35-9-2-0) at Oshawa Generals (31-12-0-4)
When: Today, 6:05 p.m.
Where: General Motors Centre – Oshawa, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: at Belleville (Monday, 7:05 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters begin a five-game road trip, tied for longest this season, a day after having their game in Belleville on Saturday moved to Monday because of snow and bad travel conditions in Ontario. … The Otters have lost consecutive games for only the second time this season. They dropped a season-high three in a row last month. … The Otters are three points behind Guelph in the chase for the OHL and Western Conference regular-season titles and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Otters beat Eastern Conference-leading Oshawa 3-2 on Nov. 8 at Erie Insurance Arena. … C Connor McDavid (lower body) made the trip with the team. He’s listed as day-to-day. … LW Dane Fox (51 goals, 31 assists, 82 points) has no goals and one point in his past three games. He needs three goals to break Cory Pecker‘s franchise record of 53 set in the 2001-02 season. … RW Connor Brown (32-62-94) tied Zack Torquato (62 assists in 2009-10) on the franchise’s single-season list with an assist in a 4-3 loss to Niagara on Friday. Brown needs six points to surpass Pecker’s record of 99 points in 2001-02 and become the first 100-point scorer in Otters history. … RW Andre Burakovsky had two goals and an assist against the IceDogs in his first game since suffering a head injury Jan. 12 against Windsor. … Rookie C Dylan Strome (head) also rejoined the lineup Friday. … The Otters are 13-7-1-0 on the road, while the Generals are 18-4-0-2 at home. … Oshawa, who has won five straight games, leads the Eastern Conference by eight points over Sudbury. … They are tied for second in the league with 127 goals against. The Otters are first with 113. … LW Michael Dal Colle, one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, leads the Generals with 31 goals and 70 points in 47 games. … C Scott Laughton, a signed Philadelphia Flyers prospect, has 26 goals and 60 points in 35 games. … RW Dylan Smoskowitz has two goals and six points in six games since being acquired from Mississauga earlier this month.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 24th, 2014

Brendan Gaunce

Erie Otters (35-9-2-0) at Belleville Bulls (13-28-2-2)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Yardmen Arena – Belleville, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: at Oshawa (Sunday, 6:05 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters begin a five-game road trip, tied for longest this season, after dropping their last two home games – including a disappointing 4-3 loss to Niagara on Friday night. … RW Andre Burakovsky (head) had two goals and an assist against the IceDogs in his first game since being injured Jan. 12 against Windsor. … C Dylan Strome (head) also rejoined the lineup Friday. … C Connor McDavid (lower body) was a late scratch Friday missing most or all of practice the past three days. His status for tonight’s will be determined before the game. … The Otters can complete a two-game sweep of the Bulls. Erie won 4-3 at home Oct. 18. … LW Dane Fox (51 goals, 31 assists, 82 points) has no goals and one point in his past three games. He still needs three goals to break Cory Pecker‘s franchise record of 53 goals set in the 2001-02 season. … RW Connor Brown (31-61-92) tied Zack Torquato‘s

Stephen Harper

franchise record, set in 2009-10, with his 62nd assist of the season Friday. needs two assists to break the franchise mark of 62 held by Zack Torquato since the 2009-10 season. … Brown has 94 season, which stands five shy of equaling Pecker’s single-season record of 99 points in 2001-02. … The Bulls are last in the Eastern Conference, but only 10 points out of the final playoff spot. … They have lost two straight and six of their last 10 games. … The Otters face former teammate Stephen Harper for the first time since the LW was traded to Belleville in late November in the deal for C Brendan Gaunce. Harper has four goals, 13 points, a plus-1 rating and 14 penalty minutes in 19 games with the Bulls. … Gaunce (11-12-23 in 21 games with the Otters, faces his former team for the first time. … LW Remi Elie (18-25-43) leads the team, while D Jordan Subban – brother of Montreal Canadiens D P.K. Subban and Boston Bruins G prospect Malcolm Subban – has 32 points and a plus-5 rating in 44 games.

- Victor Fernandes

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