When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: John Labatt Centre – London, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Players to watch
Erie – C Greg McKegg (21 goals, 22 assists, 43 points), RW Shawn Szydlowski (14-12-26), RW Anthony Luciani (9-14-23), G Ramis Sadikov (14-10-1-1 record, 2.70 goals-against average, .916 save percentage, 2 shutouts), C Phil Varone (10-10-20)
London – RW Jared Knight (12-16-28), RW Vladislav Namestnikov (9-17-26), G Michael Houser (12-9-2-1, 2.92, .914, 1 SO), C Daniel Erlich (7-18-25), D Michael D’Orazio (4-17-21)
Erie – The Otters’ five-game winning streak – their longest in two years – ended Saturday in a 3-2 shootout loss to Sarnia. … The Otters begin a three-game road trip through the Midwest Division by trying to snap a 24-game winless skid in London. Their last win at Labatt Centre was on Dec. 27, 2002 – their first visit to the rink. They lost in London 5-3 on Oct. 14… If the Otters win, they will have a winning record for the first time since a season-opening win at Brampton. … The Otters are one point ahead of London in the Midwest Division standings, although the Knights have a game in hand. … Varone takes a seven-game point streak (six goals, 13 points), the second-longest streak of his career, into his first game in London since being traded Oct. 26. He had points in 11 consecutive games with the Knights from Jan. 13-Feb. 8, 2008. … McKegg has points in the past five games (seven goals, 12 points). He has goals in six of his past eight games. … Sadikov has made 20 straight starts, three shy of equaling Josh Disher’s record of 23 set from Sept. 28-Nov. 27, 2003. … The Otters could reach the .500 mark on the road (6-7-1-0). They have won two straight and four of five since a 10-3 loss in Oshawa Nov. 19.
London – The struggling Knights have lost three straight and eight of their last 11 games. … The Knights, one of the OHL’s most potent offenses for many years, rank near the bottom with 93 goals. … They also have the league’s worst power play (15.2 percent) and rank near the bottom on the penalty (79.2). … They have nine losses in 18 home games. They lost only four home games last season. … Houser, a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Wexford, ranks among the top 12 in goals-against average and save percentage. … They have lost two of three meetings with the Otters this season.
Up next: at Owen Sound (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.), at Guelph (Sunday, 2 p.m.)
– Victor Fernandes