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 ‘jimmy mcdowell’
Posted: February 27th, 2014

Erie Otters (44-14-2-0) at Sarnia Sting (16-38-1-5)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: RBC Centre – Sarnia, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: at Saginaw (Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters look to rebound from a stretch of four losses in five games against a Sting club that could be eliminated from OHL playoff contention tonight. Sarnia, which has the league’s worst record, stands 16 points behind eighth-place Plymouth with eight regular-season games left. … The Otters won the opening two games of the season series by a combined 13-4 score, including a 6-3 win in Sarnia on Sept. 27. The Otters conclude the regular season March 15 against the Sting at Erie Insurance Arena. … The Otters are seven points behind front-running Guelph, who beat North Bay 5-4 on Thursday, and a point behind third-place London in the race for the league’s regular-season title and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. All three clubs have eight games left. … The Otters have another chance to tie the franchise’s single-season mark of 45 wins held by the 2000-01 club. … They also need 12 points in the standings to equal the mark of 102 points set in 2000-01. … They need to score 22 goals in their last eight games – 2.75 per game – to match the mark of 281 goals set in 2010-11. … They also have allowed 152 goals, which leads the league and stands 19 below the franchise mark of 171 set in 2000-01. … LW Dane Fox (56 goals, 37 assists, 93 points), the league’s top goal scorer, has four goals in his past 16 games. … The Sting have lost nine of their last 10 games. … They rank near the bottom of the league with 191 goals scored, and are last with 290 goals against. … D Jimmy McDowell, a former Otter, has 11 goals, 27 points and a minus-25 rating in 40 games with the Sting. He has 12 goals, 34 points (a career high) and a minus-34 rating in 60 games between the Sting and Sudbury. … RW Hayden Hodgson, a former Otter, has three goals and seven points in 10 games with the Sting. … RW Nikolay Goldobin, who led all rookies a season ago with 68 points, ranks among the top 10 overall with 82 points (35-47-82).

- Victor Fernandes

Check out the latest edition of Knoblauch Korner

Posted: November 23rd, 2013

* denotes starters



Devin Williams*
Oscar Dansk

Scratches: RW Joel Wigle (upper body), D Darren Raddysh (healthy), LW/D Travis Wood (healthy), RW Patrick Murphy (healthy)




Franky Palazzese*
Troy Timpano

Scratches: D Kevin Raine, D Evan de Haan, RW Dominik Kubalik, RW Brody Silk

Referees: TBA; Linesmen: TBA

Sudbury Wolves (10-8-3-3) at Erie Otters (19-4-1-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Guelph (Thursday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters look to rebound at home after having a six-game winning streak snapped in a 4-1 loss at London on Friday night. … Despite the loss, they still have won 16 of their last 18 games. … The Otters have won a franchise-record 13 straight home games. They are an OHL-best 13-0-0-0 at home. … They are expected to play in front of a sellout crowd, which should break the franchise’s single-game attendance record of 5,711, set in the Oct. 5 home opener against North Bay. … This matchup features the return of former Otters F Connor Crisp, who was traded to the Wolves along with overage D Jimmy McDowell in September in the deal for D Cory Genovese. Sudbury traded McDowell to Sarnia on Nov. 13 in exchange for overage D Craig Duininck. … Crisp, a Montreal Canadiens draft pick, has eight goals and 16 points in 24 games this season. He’s tied for second in the league with 61 penalty minutes. … Wolves rookie D Khadyn Butterfly, who was cut from Otters training camp in August, has no points in three games for the Wolves. … C Matthew Campagna leads the Wolves with 39 points (nine goals, 30 assists). Campagna is tied with Otters C Connor McDavid for the league lead in assists. … Otters RW Connor Brown stands third with 27 assists. On Friday, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. … LW Nathan Pancel ranks second in the league with 22 goals, one behind Otters LW Dane Fox. … RW Nicholas Baptiste has 18 goals and 33 points. … The Wolves have scored 86 goals this season, but rank near the bottom of the league with 102 goals against.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 3rd, 2013

Here’s Erie Otters GM Sherry Bassin‘s take on the trade…
* On wanting to acquire Cory Genovese: “(He’s) a strong defensive defenseman that can take care of the front of the net. We’ve been giving up too many goals. … We believe in this guy a lot.”
* On trading Connor Crisp, Jimmy McDowell: “You have to give up something to get (something in return). We believe very strongly that are forwards are pretty good. … We were very very happy with (overage D Spencer) Abraham and also (with) McDowell. That’s who (Sudbury) wanted.”
* On what lies ahead: “I don’t think we’re done tinkering with the team yet. We have to see how it goes. We don’t have any plans for anything specifically. We’ll keep listening. If we feel we have an opportunity to get experienced players, we’ll look at it.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 3rd, 2013

The Erie Otters made a deal for a defenseman. They traded two veteran performers to make it happen.
The Otters acquired defenseman Cory Genovese and two draft picks from Sudbury on Tuesday in exchange for forward Connor Crisp and defenseman Jimmy McDowell. The Otters also received Kingston’s third-round pick in the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection and Oshawa’s fourth-round pick in 2016.
“We like what he brings to the ice,” said Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager in a statement. “We gave up some significant players to get him, and that goes to show how much we believe in him.” Genovese, 18, a 6-foot 2-inch, 203-pounder from Hespeler, Ontario, had six points, a plus-8 rating and 87 penalty minutes in 62 games for Sudbury and Kitchener a season ago. He had 11 points, a plus-8 raring and 175 penalty minutes in 118 career OHL games.
“He’s a defensive defenseman and that’s what we needed,” coach Kris Knoblauch said in a statement. “We have a few young guys back there, and he can be a leader for them.” Crisp, 19, set career highs with 22 goals, 36 points and 139 penalty minutes in 63 games last season. He has 27 goals, 42 points and 188 penalty minutes in 117 games the past three seasons. McDowell set career highs with 14 goals and 33 points in 67 games last season. He had 15 goals, 42 points and a minus-52 rating in 92 games with the Otters.

Posted: August 29th, 2013

2 Travis Dermott – D
4 Jimmy McDowell – D
5 Jesse Saban – D
6 Troy Donnay – D
7 Gregory Allen – D
8 Andre Burakovsky – LW
10 Connor McDavid – C
11 Connor Crisp – C
12 Kyle Pettit – C
13 Nick Betz – RW
14 Travis Wood – LW/D
15 Blake Jones – C
16 Matt Marsden – C
17 Jordan Dunin – C
18 Trent Fox – C
19 Cameron Etherington – RW
20 Connor Brown – RW
21 Justin Felker – D
30 Cosimo Lazzarino – G

2 Adam Pelech – D
3 Darren Raddysh – D
4 Spencer Abraham – D
5 Cole Mayo – D
6 Khadyn Butterfly – D
7 Patrick Murphy – D
8 Dane Fox – LW
9 Michael Curtis – LW/C
10 Jake Evans – C
11 Stephen Harper – LW
12 Dylan Strome – C
13 Hayden Hodgson – RW
14 Quentin Maksimovich – C
15 Fabrizio Ricci – LW
16 Thomas Lattavo – RW
17 Jeff St. Pierre – RW
18 Cristiano DiGiacinto – RW
19 Nolan Dunn – LW

31 Daniel Dekoning – G
32 Oscar Dansk – G

Posted: August 29th, 2013

Erie Otters captain Connor Brown‘s motor has a new gear. He spent the summer making that happen with the help of a famous coach.
The veteran winger improved his overall speed and skating ability in Toronto under the tutelage of Canadian skating coach Barbara Underhill, an Olympian in 1980 and 1984 who won the 1984 world championship in pairs skating with partner Paul Martini. She has spent the past year and a half as skating consultant for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
Brown, the Maple Leafs’ sixth-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, worked twice a week with Underhill. This week, he has displayed the benefits of that work. Most notably, he scored five goals and assisted on most of linemate Connor McDavid’s four goals in two scrimmages Wednesday. Defenders had a difficult time keeping up with Brown, which forced them to back-pedal instead of being aggressive. Brown said that led to more time and space to make plays.
* Getting a second opinion: Rookie D Riley Robertson (3rd-round pick, 2012) headed home to Saugeen Shores, Ontario, to have his left shoulder reevaluated by the same surgeon who performed surgery on his right shoulder a year ago.
Robertson, who felt his shoulder pop out during Tuesday morning’s practice but played well and scored a goal in the Prospect Game later that morning, was looked at by team doctors Wednesday. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, said it was unclear if Robertson will need surgery.
* Anything for the team: Travis Wood has played defense and forward in his first two OHL seasons. He has played both in camp. The third-year veteran said he would play “anywhere they want me to play. I just want to help the team.” Wood hopes his versatility also leads to more ice time this season.
* Fashion camp: RW Nick Betz considers G Oscar Dansk the team’s best dresser because of his sharp suits and ties. Yet the veterans are dressing to impress off the ice in light of the club’s dress code.
“Sherry wants us to represent ourselves as gentlemen,” Betz said.
The most memorable attire – D Spencer Abraham’s orange checkered Polo shirt and D Jimmy McDowell‘s violet golf shorts.
* Making an impression: Seven free agents – Khadyn Butterfly, Cristiano DiGiacinto, Nolan Dunn, Cameron Etherington, Matt Marsden, Fabrizio Ricci and Jeff St. Pierre – enter today’s workouts hoping to survive Friday night’s second round of cuts. As of Thursday, Bassin said they had proven to club officials that they deserved to remain in camp.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 27th, 2013

Jimmy McDowell thrived offensively a season ago. Spencer Abraham displayed improved offensive ability on the opening day of training camp Tuesday.
But defense will decide their future in Erie. “We’re going to be think about who’s going to be best defensively for us,” head coach Kris Knoblauch said, referring to the last of three overage spots on the roster.”
Abraham is the better skater, Knoblauch said, while McDowell is more physical. Both move the puck well. “For us to be an elite team in our conference,” Knoblauch said, “we’ve got to take away a lot of goals against.”
Both players will earn plenty of ice time in exhibition games. McDowell said he won’t change how he plays during those games. “I’m going to keep playing my game,” McDowell said. “They already know what I can do.” Meanwhile, Abraham is used to proving himself. “I’ve been an underdog all my life,” said Abraham, a former 15th-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection.
Club officials have a decision to make, McDowell said. The decision won’t be easy, Knoblauch said. “We’re very fortunate to have those two with us,” he said. “They’re two great, quality guys (that are) very popular in the dressing room and really have a lot of pride for the Otters organization.”
* Late arrivals: G Oscar Dansk and LW Andre Burakovsky, the two Import players on the roster, are expected to arrive at camp today. Bassin allowed him to remain at home in Sweden for a few extra days while attending a family wedding. Burakovsky’s temporary visas have been completed, GM Sherry Bassin said.
* No room for error: With few roster spots available, club officials condensed their on-ice schedule this week. So the rookies and free agents that opened camp today have two practices and two-and-a-half scrimmages to showcase their skills before Wednesday’s first round of cuts. “It’s our pressure,” said D Owen Headrick, a 13th-round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection. “If you make too many mistakes out there, you’re gone.”
Club officials will spend the first two days of camp determining which prospects deserve to remain beyond the first two days of camp. “At this point in time all we’re trying to find out for the next 2 days is somebody that shows something,” Bassin said.
* Surviving a scare: D Riley Robertson (3rd-round pick, 2012) felt his left shoulder pop out during the opening workout. That’s a bad sign for a player with a history of shoulder problems. Yet the 6-foot 5-inch, 195-pounder returned to the ice for the Prospect Game, and scored the scrimmage’s lone goal.
* On the mend: RW Sean Darroch (11th-round pick, 2011) hoped to make the team in his third camp. But a freak accident during a tournament game in Brampton, Ontario, in June – an opposing player’s skate sliced through nearly all of the Achilles tendon in his leg – has hindered his progress on the ice. Darroch missed the past two months while recovering from surgery. He skated in today’s prospect game, but without contact.
“Things happen,” he said. “I just have to keep playing and hope for the best.”
* Less is more: D Patrick Murphy (5th-round pick, 2011) slimmed down to 180 pounds from 200 in the offseason. He has seen the improvement on the ice. Now he hopes that will be the key to finally earning a full-time spot. “I hope to stick (with the team) this year,” he said.
* Inside information: C Trent Fox (5th round, 2013) said he has an advantage having F Dane Fox, his older brother, at camp. But he still has to earn his spot.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 23rd, 2013

(subject to change)

No. Name (status)

30 Cosimo Lazzarino (9th round, 2013)
2 T.J. Fergus (8th round, 2013)
4 Darren Raddysh (Veteran)
7 Teilen Celentano (Free agent)
15 Adam Pelech (Veteran) – may not participate (wrist)
16 Riley Robertson (3rd round, 2012)
17 Jimmy McDowell (Veteran)
Left wing
14 Adam Bomberry (Free agent)
20 Nolan Dunn (Free agent)
22 Dane Fox (Veteran)
6 Jake Evans (Veteran)
11 Quentin Maksimovich (11th round, 2012)
19 Trayvon Henry (15th round, 2013)
21 Dylan Strome (1st round, 2013)
23 Jordan Dunin (7th round, 2011)
Right wing
5 Cameron Etherington (Free agent)
8 Alexander Row (Free agent)
10 Jack Scanlan (13th round, 2013)
18 Nick Betz (Veteran)

No. Name (status)

32 Arun Kumar (Free agent)
3 Gregory Allen (6th round, 2011)
5 Cole Mayo (3rd round, 2013)
8 Travis Dermott (9th round, 2012)
9 Spencer Abraham (Veteran)
10 Anton Bura (Free agent)
11 Patrick Murphy (5th round, 2011)
Left wing
4 Brady Allen (Free agent)
6 Fabrizio Ricci (Free agent)
14 Travis Wood (Veteran) – also plays defense
22 Stephen Harper (Veteran)
15 Blake Jones (14th round, 2011)
16 Connor Crisp (Veteran)
19 Kyle Pettit (Veteran)
20 Trent Fox (5th round, 2013)
Right wing
7 Hayden Hodgson (Veteran)
17 Brett Dykstra (Free agent)
18 Jeff St. Pierre (Free agent)
21 Joel Wigle (Veteran) – won’t participate (surgery on both shoulders – out until October)

No. Name (status)

33 Daniel Dekoning (8th round, 2012)
34 Oscar Dansk (Veteran)
3 Troy Donnay (Veteran)
4 Justin Felker (Veteran)
6 Owen Headrick (14th round, 2013)
7 Jesse Saban (2nd round, 2013)
9 Matthew Bell (Free agent)
11 Khadyn Butterfly (Free agent)
Left wing
5 Andre Burakovsky (1st round, 2013)
18 Patrick Fellows (7th round, 2013)
19 Oakley Thomas (Free agent)
20 Sean Kohler (6th round, 2013)
8 Frank Pucci (12th round, 2013)
14 Matt Marsden (Free agent)
17 Michael Curtis (Veteran) – also plays left wing
21 Connor McDavid (Veteran)
Right wing
10 Thomas Lattavo (6th round, 2012)
12 Cristiano DiGiacinto (Free agent)
15 Connor Brown (Veteran)
23 Sean Darroch (8th round, 2011)
* More online: Check out the rosters for the Prospect Game on the Shootout hockey blog at and Twitter at

TEAM RED – Coach:
Chris Hartsburg
No. Name (status)

30 Cosimo Lazzarino
2 T.J Fergus
4 Patrick Murphy
6 Owen Headrick
7 Teilen Celentano
16 Riley Robertson
5 Cameron Etherington
8 Alexander Row
10 Sean Darroch
11 Quentin Maksimovich
14 Adam Bomberry
15 Jordan Dunin
17 Trent Fox
18 Patrick Fellows
19 Trayvon Henry
20 Nolan Dunn

TEAM BLUE – Coach: Vince Laise
No. Name (status)

32 Arun Kumar
3 Gregory Allen
9 Matthew Bell
10 Anton Bura
11 Khadyn Butterfly
4 Brady Allen
5 Jack Scanlan
6 Fabrizio Ricci
7 Cristiano DiGiacinto
8 Frank Pucci
12 Sean Kohler
14 Matt Marsden
15 Blake Jones
17 Brett Dykstra
18 Jeff St. Pierre
19 Oakley Thomas

Posted: August 15th, 2013

The Erie Otters traded center Luke Cairns to Belleville late Thursday night in exchange for left wing Michael Curtis and Mississauga’s third-round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.
Cairns, 19, had 12 goals and 41 points in 68 games a season ago and finished his three-year stint in Erie with 31 goals and 92 points in 191 games. Curtis, 20, a 6-foot, 186-pounder from Mississauga, Ontario, had 10 goals and 20 points in 55 games with the Bulls last season. He has 51 goals and 99 points in 243 career OHL games, all with Belleville.
Bassin wants Curtis to fill the role J.P. Labardo played a season ago – a defensively responsible leader who chips in on offense. Meanwhile, Bassin said Cairns should benefit from a change of scenery.
The deal leaves the Otters with four potential overagers – forwards Curtis and Dane Fox and defensemen Jimmy McDowell and Spencer Abraham. GM Sherry Bassin said Fox and Curtis are set with the team. That leaves McDowell and Abraham to battle for the final spot. At this point, the Otters will head into camp with four OAs.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: May 5th, 2013

Veteran D Spencer Abraham figures Dane Fox and Jimmy McDowell are locks for two of the Erie Otters’ three overager spots for the 2013-14 OHL season. The departure of D Jack Kuzmyk, who recently informed club officials he has chosen to enroll in school instead of trying to play his final season in major juniors, leaves as Abraham as the only other OA on the current roster.
Yet Abraham doesn’t think he’s a sure thing right now. “I’m going to have to earn my spot,” he said. OAs need to be among the best players on the team. So where doe Abraham feel he fits in?
“I can be a depth guy,” he said, who can serve as a mentor to younger Ds like returnees Justin Felker and Darren Raddysh, soon-to-be signed 2013 second-round pick Jesse Saban and highly-touted 2012 pick Travis Dermott.
“They’re young guys coming into the league,” said Abraham, who heads into his fourth year in the OHL. “It’s a tough league. I can show them the way they need to work and the way they need to act.”
* Taking the next step: Defense prospect Patrick Murphy needed to get thinner, faster and stronger to have a chance to play for the Otters next season. He’s spending the offseason doing just that.
A more streamlined version of the Otters’ fifth-round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection looked impressive during the club’s rookie development camp this weekend at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
“I wasn’t fast enough and too soft in the corners. That’s where I needed to step up to stick around,” said Murphy, who spent brief stints with the club the past two seasons.
* Hitting his mark: First-round pick Dylan Strome tossed a strike Friday night at Jerry Uht Park, when he threw the ceremonial first pitch before the Erie SeaWolves game. Strome wishes he was more accurate with his shots in Saturday’s scrimmages at MIC. He scored in the first scrimmage featuring mainly players with 1996 and 1997 birth years.
Yet he was stopped on a few quality chances in the second scrimmage.
Yet on the plus side, he quickly learned how much of a jump he will face from minor midgets to the OHL. Besides being a faster game, he said, “you’ve got to brace yourself for every hit.”
* A weekend off: C Connor McDavid enjoyed a leisurely weekend at MIC. He didn’t skate because he’s only a week removed from winning a gold medal at the IIHF U18 World Championship in Sochi, Russia. Besides, he’s still savoring the memorable experience, and not because he led all players in the tournament with eight goals and 14 points.
He enjoyed playing some of the best players in the world in that age group. McDavid also appreciated what he saw on the ice at MIC this weekend.
“It looks good out there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to training camp.”
* Getting offensive: C Kyle Pettit developed into a reliable defensive forward for the Otters last season as a 16-year-old rookie. Yet he focused on his offensive game this offseason. He has worked strictly on offense four days a week.
“It’s nice to get an offensive approach to my game,” he said.

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