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 ‘jake evans’
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 20th, 2014

The Erie Otters need to replace several key scorers from the 2013-14 team. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters need to replace several key scorers from the 2013-14 team. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters won’t score 312 goals in the 2014-15 OHL season.
That’s an easy statement to make, even with Connor McDavid, who’s coming off a 99-point season, leading the way. The Otters are losing as much offense as any team in the league – Connor Brown (45 goals, 83 assists, 128 points), Dane Fox (64-43-107), Brendan Gaunce (31-41-72), Michael Curtis (28-28-56) and Adam Pelech (10-45-55).
They also could lose Andre Burakovsky (41-46-87), if he earns a roster spot with the NHL’s Washington Capitals or is assigned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. The Otters have some promising young players – second-year C Dylan Strome as well as skilled incoming rookies like Shaun Bily and Alex DeBrincat. But aside from Strome, these young players likely aren’t ready to become frontline scorers.
So the Otters will need to manufacture goals more so than last season. They need offense from players that weren’t needed to produce as much in 2013-14.
Jake Evans

Jake Evans

* Jake Evans has that potential. He’s had it since being picked in the 2nd round of the 2011 OHL draft. Yet he hasn’t put it all together in his first three seasons, to the tune of 28 goals and 57 points in 180 games.
He set career highs with 12 goals and 23 points in 67 games a season ago. He needs much more production than that to help these Otters win.
* Kyle Pettit has become a key figure on defense, the penalty kill
Kyle Pettit

Kyle Pettit

and faceoffs. He will be a key figure in those aspects of the game this season.
But offense was non-existent the first two seasons (8 goals, 16 points in 120 games), even after he focused more on his offensive game last offseason. He needs to at least double those numbers this year.
Nick Betz has been a grinder on the third and fourth lines in his three-year career. But every once in awhile, he shows glimpses of offensive skill. If he becomes more of a prototypical power forward. He doesn’t have to be Michael Blunden, who improved from 10 goals and 17 points as a rookie in 2002-03 to 46 goals and 84 points in his fourth and final season in 2005-06.

- Victor Fernandes

Top returning scorers

Nick Betz

Nick Betz


C Connor McDavid – 28 goals, 71 assists, 99 points, 7 PPG, 2 SHG (56 games)
C Dylan Strome – 10 goals, 29 assists, 39 points, 2 PPG (60 games)
D Travis Dermott – 3 goals, 25 assists, 28 points, 1 PPG (67 games)
C Jake Evans – 11 goals, 7 assists, 18 points (57 games)
RW Nick Betz – 5 goals, 13 assists, 18 points (66 games)
RW Joel Wigle – 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points (41 games)
D Darren Raddysh – 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 point, 1 PPG (60 games)
C Kyle Pettit – 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, 1 SHG (53 games)
Note: Lists players expected to return

Up next: Pelech has moved on to the pros. So who will be the Otters’ No. 1 D? Find out Wednesday on the Shootout blog and 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: August 19th, 2014

Darren Raddysh

Darren Raddysh

Erie Otters D Darren Raddysh began the 2013-14 season with the promise that was on display during a 24-game stint with the club a season earlier.
He built on that promise in the opening half of the season, as he earned a regular shift on a veteran-laden defense. Then it went downhill, in a hurry, for Raddysh.
By the end of the regular season, he had a difficult time cracking the lineup. He dressed for only two of 14 playoff games. Then he slipped out of NHL Central Scouting’s list of draft prospects before being passed over in the June draft.
Raddysh admitted he didn’t work as hard as possible as the season progressed. That can’t happen this season, not a defense that will lose most, if not all, of that veteran unit. Raddysh has the ability to be a consistent performer. He isn’t the most dynamic player on the blue line. But Raddysh is at his best when he makes simple plays at both ends of the ice. He did that early in the season. Yet he seemed overmatched later in the season, which led to glaring mistakes.
Raddysh has plenty of motivation to raise his game this season – the opportunity to get a regular shift as a top-four D, and a chance to prove he deserves to be drafted next summer. Now he simply has to make that happen.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The Otters lose plenty of scorers from the 2013-14 club. So role players like Nick Betz, Jake Evans and Kyle Pettit need to step up to the forefront. Find out more Tuesday on the Shootout blog and on Twitter at wwww.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: 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: April 7th, 2014

Western Conference semifinals, Game 4 (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Players to watch

Connor McDavid

Erie – LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Connor McDavid (4-9-13), RW Connor Brown (3-9-12), C Brendan Gaunce (5-7-12), LW Andre Burakovsky (7-1-8), G Devin Williams (7-0-1 record, 1.90 goals-against average, .934 save percentage, 2 shutouts); Sault Ste. Marie – G Matt Murray (4-3-1, 2.63, .914, 1

Matt Murray

shutout), D Darnell Nurse (2-5-7, minus-1 rating), C Tyler Gaudet (2-6-8), LW Michael Bunting (5-1-6), C Jared McCann (2-4-6), LW Sergey Tolchinsky (1-3-4)
Fast facts: The Otters hold a 3-0 series lead for the third time in franchise history. They won the first three games against Windsor and Barrie in the Western finals and league finals, respectively, in 2002. They lost Game 4 on the road both times before winning Game 5 to close out each series. … Williams is one of only five goaltenders in Otters’ history with a playoff shutout. He’s the only one with two. … The Greyhounds have been shut out four times all season. The Otters won three of those games. … Otters F Jake Evans recorded his first OHL playoff point with an assist in the Game 3 win.
Outlook: The Otters have plenty of motivation to close this series tonight – reach the conference finals for the first time since 2002, and avoid a second 1,200-mile round trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie
Otters lead series 3-0

Game 1 – Erie 3, Sault Ste. Marie 1
Game 2 – Erie 4, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 3 – Erie 2, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Game 4 – Today at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Thursday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
Game 6 – Saturday at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – Monday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
* If necessary

- 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, www.ottershockey.com (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 4th, 2014

Plymouth Whalers (25-30-0-7) at Erie Otters (46-14-2-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: vs. Windsor (Friday, 7 p.m.), vs. Kitchener (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters begin a three-game homestand over the next four days after sweeping games in Sarnia and Saginaw this past weekend. … The Otters can add to their franchise record for wins in a season that they set with a 4-2 win against the Spirit last Saturday. … The third-place Otters, who have six games left, trail first-place Guelph by seven points in the race for the OHL’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Storm beat Kitchener 2-0 Tuesday night. Erie remains one point ahead of fourth-place London, who was idle Tuesday. … The Otters can set a new franchise record for home wins in a season tonight. They are tied with the 2000–01 club, which won 26 home games. They are 7-3-1-0 at home since starting the season with a franchise-record 19 straight wins. … C Connor McDavid (21 goals, 61 assists, 82 points) has moved into the league’s top 10 in scoring. He has moved into second, behind teammate Connor Brown (41-74-115) on the league’s assist list. … C Jake Evans (sprained knee) won’t play tonight, but head coach Kris Knoblauch said he hasn’t been ruled out for this weekend’s games. … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) remains out of the lineup. … G Oscar Dansk struggled in February with a 3-4-0-0 record, 3.29 goals-against average, .879 save percentage in seven games last month. His overall numbers are 26-9-1-0, 2.36, .913 and 5 shutouts. … The Whalers can clinch the Western Conference’s final playoff spot tonight with a win, an overtime loss or a shootout loss. They lead ninth-place Kitchener by 10 points with six games. … The Whalers have scored 172 goals, the second fewest in the league. … C Zach Lorentz leads the Whalers with 25 goals and 49 points. RW Ryan Hartman has 23 goals and 48 points. … G Alex Nedeljkovic (23-25-0-7, 2.91, .925, 1 shutout) is a top prospect in net for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. … The Otters hold the final Springhill Suites Big Assist night of the season tonight with Macaroni Night, when fans can purchase a discounted $5 ticket by donating a macaroni dinner that will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 26th, 2014

STARTING LINEUPS
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Burakovsky-McDavid-Brown
Fox-Strome-Curtis
Wood-Gaunce-Wigle*
Genovese-Murphy-Betz#

DEFENSE
Pelech-Raddysh
Dermott-Donnay
MacDermid-Abraham*

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Oscar Dansk

Scratches: C Jake Evans (sprained knee), C Kyle Pettit (upper body), D Justin Felker (healthy)

LONDON KNIGHTS

FORWARDS
Domi-Tierney-Anderson
Smith-Welychka-McCarron
M. Rupert-Horvat-R. Rupert*
MacDonald-Marner-Yakimovich

DEFENSE
Bender-Basso
Bell-Austin (former Otter)
Mermis-Zadorov*

GOALTENDERS
Jake Patterson*
Justin Tugwell

Scratches: G Anthony Stolarz (leg), LW Christian Dvorak, LW Tait Seguin, D Aiden Jamieson

Referees: TBA; Linesmen: TBA

_______________________________________________________________________________

London Knights (42-12-1-4) at Erie Otters (44-13-2-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: at Sarnia (Friday, 7:05 p.m.), at Saginaw (Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters return home after losing three of four games on their last road trip to face London in a game that will impact the race for home-ice advantage in the OHL playoffs. The third-place Otters have 90 points, one ahead of the fourth-place Knights, with nine regular-season games left apiece. … Erie remains five points behind No. 1 Guelph for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. The Storm are off tonight before playing in North Bay on Thursday. … The Otters won three of the first five meetings in the six-game season series, including a 4-3 win in a shootout Dec. 14 and 7-2 win Feb. 8. … The Otters can tie the franchise’s single-season mark of 45 wins held by the 2000-01 club. … They also can set a new mark with their 27th home win, which would break a tie with the 2000-01 club. … The Otters are third in the league with 256 goals scored, behind only the Storm (295) and Knights (272). But the Otters have scored three goals or fewer in eight of their last nine games. … F

Jake Evans

Jake Evans (sprained knee) resumed skating Tuesday, a week earlier than originally expected. He could resume playing next week. … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) could miss the rest of the regular season, although club officials hope he can play in the final game or two. … LW Dane Fox (56 goals, 37 assists, 93 points) has no goals and two points in his past four games. The league’s goal-scoring leader has four goals in his past 15 games. Fox and fellow Fs Nick Betz, Quentin Maksimovich and Patrick Murphy were scratched from Monday’s game in Sudbury for breaking unspecified team rules. … RW Connor Brown (41-72-113) has recorded points in 50-of-59 games. … RW Andre Burakovsky (32-36-68) snapped a five-game, goal-scoring drought in a 3-2 win at Sudbury on Monday. He has two goals and four points in nine games this month. … G Oscar Dansk (24-9-1-0 record, 2.35 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, 6 shutouts) snapped a personal three-game losing streak with 22 saves on 24 shots against the Wolves. … London has won seven straight games since that lopsided loss in Erie earlier this month. … LW Max Domi (30-53-83) and C Chris Tierney (35-44-79) lead the Knights and rank among the top 15 in the league. … G Anthony Stolarz (21-4-1-1, 2.58, .925, 3 SHO) remains sidelined by a leg injury suffered a month ago. … The Otters (30.9 percent) and Knights (27.3 percent) are first and third in the league, respectively, on the power play.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 19th, 2014

Erie Otters (43-11-2-0) at North Bay Battalion (30-21-4-2)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: North Bay Memorial Gardens – North Bay, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: at Sudbury (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), at Sault Ste. Marie (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters opened this four-game road trip with a 6-3 loss in Kitchener on Monday. … The Otters are 17-9-1-0 on the road this season, but they have lost two straight since winning six in a row. … The Otters play in North Bay for the first time since beating the Centennials 3-0 on Nov. 3, 2001. The Battalion moved from Brampton, Ontario, this season to become North Bay’s first club since the Centennials moved to Saginaw, Mich., after the 2001-02 season and was renamed the Spirit. … The Otters beat the Battalion 8-4 in their home opener Oct. 5. … Fs Jake Evans (lower body) and Kyle Pettit (upper body) didn’t travel with the team for this trip. Both underwent magnetic resonance imaging exams earlier this week, but club officials hadn’t learned results as of Wednesday. … 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.

Connor Brown

… RW Connor Brown (40 goals, Otters-record 71 assists, Otters-record and OHL-best 111 points) has points in 11 straight games (nine goals, 19 points) and 19 of his last 21 games overall. He has the longest active point streak in the league. … D Spencer

Spencer Abraham

Abraham
(5-26-31) has tied a career high in points set as a rookie with the Battalion in the 2010-11 season. He played two-plus seasons in Brampton from 2010-12. … The Battalion are tied for third with Kingston in the Eastern Conference and five points ahead of fifth-place Barrie, but they have played two more games than both teams. … The Battalion’s number to clinch a playoff spot stands at three points. … They are 16-8-1-2 at home this season. … Once again, the Battalion are playing stingy defense under 15th-year director of operations and head coach Stan Butler. They rank fifth with 167 goals against. … RW Barclay Goodrow (28-24-52) leads the team in scoring. No other player has more than 39 points. … Gs Jake Smith (19-11-3-1 record, 2.71 goals-against average, .898 save percentage, 2 shutouts) and Brendan O’Neill (10-10-1-1, 3.12, .885) have split time in net.

- Victor Fernandes

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner here…