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 ‘joel wigle’
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 22nd, 2014

Looks like Devin Williams gets the start in net tonight for the Erie Otters in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at Erie Insurance Arena. Oscar Dansk, who was considered the No. 1 goaltender all season, seems to be handling it well…
* Also looks like the Otters will have the same scratches tonight – Ds Justin Felker and Darren Raddysh and Fs Patrick Murphy and Quentin Maksimovich. Raddysh spoke with me about the lessons he’s learned while not being in the lineup lately.
* RW Joel Wigle is one of only 3 Otters who have advanced deep into the

Joel Wigle

OHL playoffs. Wigle (Niagara), Brendan Gaunce (Belleville) and Michael Curtis (Belleville) have shared their past experiences with teammates to help overcome lack of experience on a team that was noticeably nervous early in Game 1 Friday night. Meanwhile, former Otter Luke Cairns has experienced a season that began with a trade from Erie to Belleville 2 weeks before training camp last summer and included a move to Saginaw earlier in the season. He shared thoughts on his season, as well as how the Spirit are coping with a tumultuous season off the ice.

Now here are the lineups for tonight’s games (starters to follow):

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Burakovsky-Gaunce-Wigle*
Curtis-Strome-Wood
Evans-Pettit-Betz

DEFENSE
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham*
Dermott-Donnay

GOALTENDERS
Williams*
Dansk

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

SAGINAW SPIRIT
FORWARDS

Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*
Moutrey-Kea-Sadowy
Lodge-Stephens-Payne
Bennett-Alexeev-Addison

DEFENSE
Ringuette-Sefton
Orban-Graham*
Prophet-DeSousa*

GOALTENDERS
Paterson*
Serebryakov

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

Posted: February 17th, 2014

Erie Otters (43-10-2-0) at Kitchener Rangers (20-32-2-1)
When: Today, 2 p.m.
Where: Kitchener Memorial Auditorium – Kitchener, Ontario
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: at North Bay (Thursday, 7 p.m.), at Sudbury (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters begin a four-game road trip with a matchup with the Midwest Division rival Rangers. Erie plays six of the next seven games on the road. … The Otters can move back atop the OHL’s overall standings with a win. They trail division rival Guelph by one point with 13 games left in the chase for home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Otters have won three of the first four meetings in the six-game season series with the Rangers, including a split of the first two games in Kitchener. … They can move within one victory of the franchise’s single-season record of 45 wins held by that 2000-01 club. … They have won four straight and eight of their last nine games. … RW Connor Brown (40 goals, Otters-record 70 assists, Otters-record and OHL-best 110 points) has points in 10 straight games (nine goals, 18 points) and 18 of his last 20 overall. He has the longest active

Oscar Dansk

point streak in the league. … Oscar Dansk (23-6-1-0 record) and Devin Williams (20-4-1-0) are the first goaltending duo in Otters’ history with 20 wins apiece in the same season. … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) has no timetable set for his return to the ice. He left Saturday’s game early after colliding awkwardly into the boards. … As of Sunday, club officials hadn’t heard from the league on whether RW Joel Wigle will be suspended for a game misconduct Saturday. Wigle was given a five-minute penalty for a check to the head of Niagara D Aleksandar Mikulovich. Wigle said he hit Mikulovich on the upper chest.

Joel Wigle

He said that Mikulovich’s arm struck him across the head while protecting himself. … The Rangers are ninth in the Western Conference, five points behind Plymouth for the eighth and final playoff spot. … They are 3-0-1-0 in their last four games. … They rank near the bottom of the league with 163 goals scored and 220 goals against. … RW Justin Bailey, a Buffalo native and Sabres prospect, leads the team with 25 goals and 43 points in 54 games. … RW Nick Magyar ranks fourth among all rookies with 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists).

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 16th, 2014

Kyle Pettit (Contributed/Erie Otters)

Erie Otters C Kyle Pettit has what’s being listed as an upper-body injury, and no timetable for his return to the ice has been determined. So you would think Pettit will miss Monday’s game in Kitchener. He was injured while colliding awkwardly into the boards early in Saturday’s win against Niagara.
Meanwhile, no word yet from OHL officials on whether RW Joel Wigle will be suspended for a major checking

Joel Wigle (Contributed/Erie Otters)

to the head penalty and game misconduct against the IceDogs. After the game, Wigle said he struck D Aleksandar Mikulovich on the upper chest. Mikulovich hit himself across the head with his own arm while trying to protect himself from the hit.

Posted: January 4th, 2014

<>STARTING LINEUPS
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Gaunce*-Brown*
Pettit*-Curtis-Wigle
Murphy-Evans-Betz
Maksimovich-Wood-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Dermott-Donnay
Genovese-Abraham*
Felker-Raddysh

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), TBD

OWEN SOUND ATTACK

FORWARDS
Hargrave-Cook-Gabriel*
Smith-Nastasiuk-Milne
Gabor-Gilligan-Brack
Heeps-Szypula-Annecchiarico

DEFENSE
Sharipzyanov-Rose
MacDermid-Schemitsch*
MacArthur-Walters

GOALTENDERS
Brandon Hope
Jack Flinn*

Scratches: RW Jaden Lindo, D Chris Bigras (World Juniors – Canada), LW Kyle Hope (suspension)

Referees: Sean Pindar, Scott Ferguson; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Adam Harris

Posted: December 31st, 2013

<>STARTING LINEUPSw
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Curtis-Brown*
Evans-Gaunce-Wigle
Murphy-Pettit-Betz
Wood-Mayo (OHL debut)-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Dermott-Donnay
Genovese-Abraham*
Felker-Raddysh

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), C Quentin Maksimovich (healthy)

KITCHENER RANGERS

FORWARDS
Llewellyn-Marcantuoni-Bailey*
Pedersen-MacInnis-Magyar
Kohn-Meighan-Robinson
Cascagnette-Soper-Davies

DEFENSE
Fanelli-Hora*
Iafrate-Schmidt
Blaisdell-DiPerna

GOALTENDERS
Jordan DeKort*
Matthew Greenfield

Scratches: RW Scott Teskey, Paxton Leroux, Radek Faksa (World Juniors – Czech Republic)

Referees: Pat Myers, Brent Coloumbe; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Ray King

OTTERS WATCH
Kitchener Rangers (13-21-0-1) at Erie Otters (29-7-1-0)
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: vs. Owen Sound (Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters look to end their first losing streak of the season – three games – against a Rangers club that gave them trouble in their last two meetings. The Otters allowed 12 goals – nearly four goals above their season average of 2.5 per outing – in splitting those two games – a 9-6 home win Nov. 19 and a 6-2 loss in Kitchener this past Saturday. … The Otters lead the Western Conference by four points over third-place Guelph. West Division-leading Sault Ste. Marie is five points back in second. … The Otters are a franchise-record 18-0-0-0 at home, which stands two wins shy of equaling the second-longest home streak in OHL history. The St. Catharines Fincups won 20 in a row from Sept. 24, 1976 to Jan. 18, 1977. The record is 33 straight by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 1984-85 season. … LW Dane Fox has no points in the last three games. He still leads the league with 41 goals and trails only linemate Connor Brown 71-67 in the race for the scoring title. … G Devin Williams has followed a career-best, 13-game winning streak with three straight losses. … D Jesse Saban and C Trent Fox have joined fellow 2013 draft pick Cole Mayo, a defenseman, in Erie. But there are no current plans for them to dress for games. … The Rangers are last in the West, but they are only three points behind eighth-place Plymouth in the three-team battle for the conference’s final playoff spot. … The Rangers are without leading scorer Radek Faksa (14 goals., 25 points), who’s playing for Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championship. … They have three promising young players in RWs Nick Magyar (10-15-25), Justin Bailey (14-11-25) and Darby Llewellyn (19-5-24).

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: December 30th, 2013

The Erie Otters take a season-worst, 3-game losing streak into tonight’s New Year’s Eve game against Midwest Division rival Kitchener at Erie Insurance Arena. On Monday, head coach Kris Knoblauch spoke of the rematch of this past weekend’s loss to the Rangers…

* On their rematch with Kitchener: “The last two times out, we’ve given up 12 goals in two games against them. We take pride in our defensive play. And certainly those two games, we didn’t play very good defensively. That’s something we’re going to have to play a lot of attention to – not giving up as many opportunities as we have.
* On role players stepping up their game: Certainly we want more. Certain players have been playing so well all season. And with the absence (of five frontline players), they want to do more. If they’re already playing their best hockey, it’s pretty tough to give more.
Certainly the guys that haven’t had the opportunity to get (more) ice time, I think those are the guys that need to step up – not necessarily the Dane Foxes, the (Connor) Browns, (Brendan) Gaunce. Those guys have been playing so well all season, and their numbers show for it. It’s the other guys who haven’t had that much (of an) opportunity, it’s their time to step up.”
* On Joel Wigle back in the lineup: Joel’s back, which is nice. Certainly he’s not at 100 percent now. Healthy, he’s 100 percent. His game, I was happy with the way he played (this past weekend). Certainly as we play more games, I expect him to get better.”

Posted: December 13th, 2013

London Knights (24-6-1-1) at Erie Otters (28-4-1-0)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: at Guelph (Sunday, 6:30 p.m.)
What to watch: Erie takes a nine-game winning streak into this matchup with the Midwest Division rival Knights, which have handed the Otters two of their four regulation losses this season in their first three meetings. … The win streak stands two shy of equaling the franchise record of 11 straight victories set earlier this season. … The Otters also put their franchise-record, 17-game winning home streak on the line. … The OHL-leading Otters (57 points) have a seven-point lead over London in the Western Conference standings. … London has won seven straight and 10 of their last 11 games following a 5-2 win against Guelph on Friday night. … The final three meetings in the six-game season series are in Erie. … Both teams are missing frontline players who are preparing for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden – G Oscar Dansk (16-3-1-0 record, 2.17 goals-against average, .919 save percentage, 4 shutouts), D Adam Pelech (8 goals, 16 assists, 24 points; plus-23 rating) and RW Andre Burakovsky (23-24-47) and C Connor McDavid (12-38-50) for the Otters, Ds Tim Bender (1-2-3, +12) and Nikita Zadorov (2-4-6, +8 in 8 games) and Fs Josh Anderson (16-13-29) and Bo Horvat (16-28-44) for the Knights. … G Anthony Stolarz (20-3-1-0, 2.50, .926, 3 shutouts) should be available for the Knights. The London Free Press has reported that Stolarz leaves Sunday to attend the United States National Junior Team’s selection camp in Minneapolis. … Otters LW Dane Fox has goals and points in nine straight games (17 goals, 23 points). He can set a new franchise record for consecutive games with a goal tonight. He’s currently tied with Brad Boyes, who had goals in nine straight games from Nov. 4-25, 2000. … G Devin Williams has won 12 straight starts. … RW Joel Wigle (fractured clavicle) won’t play until after Christmas break.

- Victor Fernandes

<>STARTING LINEUPSw
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Gaunce-Brown*
Curtis-Strome-Murphy
Evans-Pettit-Betz
Wood-Maksimovich-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Felker-Raddysh
Genovese-Abraham*
Dermott-Donnay

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: RW Joel Wigle (fractured clavicle), G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada)

LONDON KNIGHTS

FORWARDS
Domi-Welychka-R. Rupert*
Dvorak-Tierney-Marner
Seguin-Platzer-McCarron
Elie-MacDonald-Jamieson

DEFENSE
Bell-Austin (former Otter)
Basso-Mermis*
Defarias-Centorame

GOALTENDERS
Jake Patterson*
Anthony Stolarz

Scratches: LW Matt Rupert (final game of 15-game suspension), C Bo Horvat (World Juniors – Canada), D Tim Bender (WJC – Germany), D Nikita Zadorov (WJC – Russia), RW Josh Anderson (WJC – Canada)

Referees: Joe Park, Chris Carnegie; Linesmen: Mike Zujko, Dave Pfohl

Posted: November 28th, 2013

Check out C Brendan Gaunce‘s first interview as an Erie Otter…

<>STARTING LINEUPS
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Gaunce-Brown
Curtis-McDavid-Burakovsky*
Evans-Strome-Betz
Maksimovich-Pettit-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Pelech-Raddysh
Genovese-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay*

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Oscar Dansk

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

MISSISSAUGA STEELHEADS

FORWARDS
Mitchell-Garlent-Bertuzzi
McGinn-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
Milne-Suter-Auger*
Bauman-Horvat-Craievich

DEFENSE
McFadden-Trojanovic
Finn-Leslie
Baltisberger-Harpur*

GOALTENDERS
Justin Nichols*
Matthew Mancina

Scratches: D Kyle Locke, C Robby Fabbri, RW Marc Stevens

Referees: Kendrick Nicholson, Steve Picco; Linesmen: J.F. Menard, Ray King

Posted: November 14th, 2013

The top three teams in the OHL’s Western Conference will be featured in the Erie Otters’ weekend doubleheader against Sault Ste. Marie tonight and Guelph on Saturday night. Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch shared his thoughts on these two games:

“I think everyone is excited about this weekend. I’m sure the Soo are excited to play us, the same with Guelph. We’re excited to play them. But at this point in the season – I know Guelph has got one of their top players (C Robby Fabbri) out with a suspension. Our starting goalie (Oscar Dansk) is out (status remains questionable), and Joel Wigle (is out). I think this is just a good test for us playing two very good teams. But where we measure up or where they measure up, it’s not anything (important right now). When we played London the first game (on Oct. 25), London wasn’t a contender and we were. The second time we played (on Nov. 3), we didn’t belong in the playoffs. Certainly you can’t (put) so much importance on a single game.

Now check out a video interview with Knoblauch, as well as an interview with Dansk talking about his status for this weekend’s games…

Also, check out the Otters working on blocking shots and breaking out of the defensive zone at a recent practice…

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