Erie Otters (27-4-1-0) at Niagara IceDogs (8-19-2-2)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Jack Gatecliff Arena – St. Catharines, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: vs. London (Saturday, 7 p.m.), at Guelph (Sunday, 6:30 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters have won eight straight games, their second-longest winning streak of the season. They won a franchise-record 11 in a row from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2. … They have won four straight on the road to improve to 10-4-1-0 away from Erie Insurance Arena. … The Otters are without C Connor McDavid and D Adam Pelech, who left the club today to join the Canadian National Junior Team in hopes of earning a roster spot for the IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden. … RW Andre Burakovsky, who left Wednesday’s game against Mississauga in the third period after being slashed across the wrist, is expected to play tonight. … Burakovsky and G Oscar Dansk play their final games before joining their native Sweden for World Juniors. … G prospect Daniel Dekoning joins the team today to fill in for Dansk. … LW Dane Fox (pictured at right) has goals and points in eight straight games (15 goals, 20 points). He can tie the franchise record for consecutive games with a goal tonight. Brad Boyes scored goals in nine straight games from Nov. 4-25, 2000. … The Otters won the first two meetings with the IceDogs by a combined 11-3 score. … The IceDogs have the OHL’s second-worst record. … They have lost eight of their last 10 games to fall to ninth in the Eastern Conference. They trail Ottawa by three points in the race for the final playoff spot. … They have been outscored 138-102 this season. … C Carter Verhaeghe (16 goals, 29 assists, 45 points) and LW Brendan Perlini (16-25-41) lead the IceDogs’ offense. … G Chris Festarini, a former Otter, has a 5-9-1-2 record, 4.08 goals-against average and .869 save percentage in 19 games this season. He has five losses and a no-decision in his past six outings and one win in his last 11 games.
- Victor Fernandes