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 ‘Kyle Pettit’
Posted: April 17th, 2014

OHL playoffs at a glance
Western Conference finals, Game 1 (best-of-7 series)
No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 1 Guelph Storm
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Sleeman Centre – Guelph, Ontario
On the air: WJET-AM/1400, (live stream)
Season series: Guelph won 4-2
Playoff recap: Erie def. No. 6 Saginaw 4 games to 1 in conference quarterfinals, def. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie 4-0 in conference semifinals; Guelph def. No. 8 Plymouth 4-1, def. No. 4 London, 4-1
Players to watch
Erie – G Devin Williams (8-0-1 record, 1.88 goals-against average, .934 save percentage, 2 shutouts), LW Dane Fox (7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points), C Brendan Gaunce (5-9-14), C Connor McDavid (4-10-14), RW Connor Brown (4-9-13), LW Andre Burakovsky (8-2-10), D Adam Pelech (2-2-4, plus-8 rating); Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (5-10-15), LW Jason Dickinson (4-10-14), G Justin Nichols (8-2-0, 2.77, .919, 1 SHO), LW Kerby Rychel (2-11-13), RW Scott Kosmachuk (6-6-12), C Robby Fabbri (5-4-9), D Matt Finn(2-3-5, +7)

Justin Nichols

Fast facts: Both teams won 52 games on the way to finishing with the top two records in the regular season. … Williams stopped 119-of-122 shots in the sweep of Sault Ste. Marie (0.73 GAA, .975 save percentage) on the way to earning CHL goaltender of the week honors. … Otters C Kyle Pettit (gash across left calf) is expected to play tonight. … Storm LW Brock McGinn (43-42-85 in the regular season, 2-1-3 in three playoff games) completes an eight-game suspension tonight. … These teams have six players among the top 10 in playoff scoring (Fox, Gaunce, McDavid and Brown for the Otters; Mitchell and Dickinson for the Storm). … Fabbri (4-3-7 in three games) is the reigning CHL player of the week. … Gaunce and LW Michael Curtis (2-3-5) reached the conference finals with Belleville a season ago. … Gaunce has points in seven straight games and eight of nine playoff games. … WJET-AM/1400 will broadcast every game in the series.
Outlook: The Otters need to win at least one game in Guelph to capture the series. They faced – and conquered – that same challenge against Sault Ste. Marie in the last round.
Prediction: Otters in 7 games

Posted: April 16th, 2014

Posted: April 11th, 2014

Erie Otters C Kyle Pettit was back on the ice for a full practice for the first time since having his left calf slashed by a skate blade in Game 4 of the opening-round series against Saginaw. He’s expected to rejoin the lineup for the start of the Western Conference finals. For now, he will focus on regaining his game shape.
“It’s pretty exciting again. It’s been a slow process, but it’s getting a lot better, ” said Pettit, who skated on his own twice earlier in the week without pain. “That was really surprising to me,” he said. “Maybe I’m a little hesitant, but it’s going to take some time just to get back to normal. … It’s what the practice is for.”


Some players watched the webcast Game 4 in the Guelph-London series on their off night Thursday. Some enjoyed a second day away from hockey. But the coaching staff was hard at work, as they traveled to London, Ontario, to watch the Storm’s 6-3 win at Budweiser Gardens. They are familiar with the Storm and Knights, as the Otters faced their Midwest Division rivals six times apiece in the regular season. But the Otters have tinkered with their strategy from series to series, head coach Kris Knoblauch said. Those teams have done that as well.
“They’re always changing their game a little bit, and they’ll change their game when they play us,” Knoblauch said before Friday’s practice at Erie Insurance Arena, the team’s first time back on the ice since completing a four-game sweep of Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday in the conference semifinals. “You can watch games on video, but you only see a third of the ice. (Watching games live) gives you a better idea of what’s going on. It gives you a little bit better perspective of what they’re doing.”


Looks like the Otters will have a full week of practice before starting the conference finals. Knoblauch said he expects the best-of-seven series to begin next Friday. So he will need to keep practice fresh to keep his players sharp.
“This time of year you can only practice so much,” he said. Pettit is happy about the long break, though. “I’m getting a lot of rest and working on (my leg),” he said. ”


Oscar Dansk

Oscar Dansk seems like a more confident goaltender these days. He’s still adjusting to what he called a “new experience” – life as a backup to Devin Williams. But Dansk has worked hard in practice to regain the form that made him one of the league’s top goaltenders in the regular season. He also has returned to the old pads he used in the regular season.
“I just have to learn how to handle this kind of situation myself,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get my feel back, getting back in the groove. I’ve felt really good in practice.”
Posted: April 1st, 2014

Western Conference semifinals (best-of-7 series)

No. 3 Erie Otters vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Season records: Erie 52-14-2-0, Sault Ste. Marie 44-17-2-5
Season series: Tied 1-1
First-round recap: Erie def. No. 6 Saginaw, 4 games to 1; Sault Ste. Marie def. No. 7 Owen Sound, 4-1
Players to watch: Erie – LW Dane Fox (6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points), C Brendan Gaunce (4-4-8), RW Connor Brown (2-6-8), C Connor McDavid (2-6-8), LW Andre Burakovsky (6-1-7), G Devin Williams (4-0-1 record, 2.97 goals-against average, .893 save percentage); Sault Ste. Marie – G Matt Murray (4-0-1, 2.38, .918, 1

Matt Murray

shutout) D Darnell Nurse (2-5-7, plus-4), C Tyler Gaudet (2-6-8), LW Michael Bunting (5-1-6), C Jared McCann (2-3-5), LW Sergey Tolchinsky (1-3-4)
Fast facts: Fox leads the league in playoff scoring, and is tied with Burakovsky for the lead in goals. … Murray earned the league’s player of the week award for totaling a 3-0-0 record, 1.33 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and one shutout in the final three games against Owen Sound. … The Otters won three of four one-goal games, including two of three in overtime, against Saginaw. … The Greyhounds won four straight games after losing the series opener to the Attack. … D Kurtis MacDermid (flu) will play tonight. … C Kyle Pettit (gash across left calf) is listed as day-to-day. … McDavid (28-71-99) and Tolchinsky (31-60-91) ranked among the league’s top 10 scorers in the regular season after finishing among the top three rookie scorers a season ago. … WJET-AM/1400 will broadcast Games 2 through 4 and, if necessary, Games 5 through 7.
Outlook: The Greyhounds have home-ice advantage, but the Otters are a better team when they’re playing at their best – especially in net.
Prediction: Otters in 6 games

Series schedule
No. 3 Erie vs. No. 2 Sault Ste. Marie

Game 1 – Today at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Erie, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – April 10 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 12 at Erie, 7 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 14 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 p.m.*
* If necessary


No. 1 Guelph Storm vs. No. 4 London Knights
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Sleeman Centre – Guelph, Ontario
Season series: Tied 3-3
First-round recap: Guelph def. No. 8 Plymouth, 4 games to 1; London def. No. 5 Windsor, 4-0
Players to watch

Zack Mitchell

Guelph – RW Zack Mitchell (2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points), G Justin Nichols (4-1-0 record, 1.81 goals-against average, .941 save percentage, 1 shutout), LW Jason Dickinson (3-4-7), LW Kerby Rychel (1-6-7), D Zac Leslie (0-6-6, +5 rating), D Nick Ebert (4-1-5, +6)
London - C Chris Tierney (3-6-9), C Bo Horvat (4-4-8), C Ryan Rupert (1-7-8), LW Max Domi (2-4-6), D Nikita Zadorov (3-2-5, +4), G Jake Patterson (1-0-0, 3.00, .919)

Jake Patterson

Fast facts: Knights No. 1 G Anthony Stolarz (3-0-0, 2.00, .933) still has to serve the final 7 games of an 8-game suspension for striking Windsor RW Josh Ho-Sang in the back of the head with a stick in Game 3 of their first-round series. … Knights D Zach Bell will miss the rest of the season with a broken leg suffered in Game 4 against the Spitfires. … Storm C Robby Fabbri (45-42-87 in the regular season) missed the final four games of the first-round series reportedly because of a hit to the head from Plymouth D Yannick Rathgeb, who received a 10-game suspension. … LW Brock McGinn (43-42-85 in the regular season) still has to serve the final six games of an eight-game suspension for a hit to the head of Whalers RW Connor Sills in Game 3.
Outlook: Both teams head into the series short-handed, so I’ll stick with my original prediction
Prediction: Knights in 7 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Friday at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday at Guelph, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Tuesday at London, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – April 10 at London, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – April 11 at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 13 at London, 2 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 15 at Guelph, 7 p.m.*
* If necessary

Posted: March 27th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – The Erie Otters can capture their first OHL playoff series win since the opening round of the 2003-04 playoffs with a victory over Saginaw in Game 5 tonight at Dow Event Center.
As expected, no Kyle Pettit (gash on left leg) at center and Kurtis MacDermid on defense for the Otters, while Patrick Murphy makes his OHL playoff debut on the 4th line between Quentin Maksimovich and Nick Betz.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s Game 4 between the Erie Otters and Saginaw Spirit…

Maksimovich-Murphy (OHL playoff debut)-Betz



SCRATCHES: D Justin Felker (healthy), C Kyle Pettit (gash on left calf), D Kurtis MacDermid (ill)


Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*



SCRATCHES:D Daniel DeSousa, D Michael Holmes, RW Andrey Alexeev

Posted: March 27th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – Here are a few thoughts on the Erie Otters’ pivotal Game 4 win over Saginaw on Wednesday night at Dow Event Center…

* Kudos to the team’s head athletic trainers, including the Otters’ Scott McLay, and the EMTs on hand for getting Kyle Pettit‘s medical situation – the 2nd-year forward’s left calf was gashed open by a skate blade – under control so quickly. Given what happened, it could have much worse. Instead, Pettit was able to celebrate the win with his team in the dressing room after the game.
* I was told the Otters wear cut-resistant Kevlar socks. So it will be interesting to find out if the sock helped keep the cut on Pettit’s leg from being worse…
* Head coach Kris Knoblauch said the gash on Pettit’s leg wasn’t as bad as the injury London G Anthony Stolarz suffered earlier this season that sidelined him for six weeks.
But Pettit will be missed if he has to sit out any length of time. The Otters were a different team – and not always in a good way – while Pettit was out with an upper-body injury, and F Jake Evans was out with with a sprained knee, at the end of the regular season. Pettit is solid at both ends of the ice, especially on the penalty kill and and as the third option behind C Brendan Gaunce and LW Dane Fox on faceoffs.

Andre Burakovsky

* Special teams have been a big part of the Otters-Spirit series. The Otters took control of the series Wednesday night with a pair of power-play goals and a 6-for-7 showing on the penalty kill. They overcame a stretch of six straight short-handed situations by killing off the final five chances.
* Andre Burakovsky continued his hot start to the playoffs with his sixth goal of the series. He also continued building a case for him to earn a spot in the NHL with the Washington Capitals next season, or at least in the AHL.

Posted: March 24th, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. – The Otters look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over Saginaw in Game 3 tonight at Dow Event Center. How they fare against the Spirit’s top line of Kristoff Kontos, Eric Locke and former Otter Luke Cairns will play in a key role in making that happen.
The trio combined for four goals and 11 points in the first two games at Erie Insurance Arena. Otters Ds Spencer Abraham and Kurtis MacDermid, who were primarily matched up against that line in those games, is a combined minus-7 in the series.
* G Oscar Dansk makes his OHL playoff debut tonight. Apparently, he didn’t find out until around 5:30 or so. I spoke with G Devin Williams, a Saginaw native, about 15 minutes earlier, and he said they hadn’t been told who was starting in net.
* C Kyle Pettit, who missed the final month of the regular season with an upper-body injurt, says he felt good in the first two games of this series.
In other news, LW Dane Fox (3 goals, 1 assist in 2 games) was considered for the league’s player of the week honor. It went to Oshawa’s Hunter Smith, who had a goal and six assists in two games.

The Otters have the same lineup from Game 2, with the exception of Dansk in net. Jake Evans has moved to C on the 4th line, with Pettit out to the wing. Daniel DeSousa moves from D to 4th line C for Andrey Alexeev, while Sean Callaghan returns to the lineup after missing Game 2.




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


Locke-Kontos-Cairns (former Otter)*



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

Posted: March 14th, 2014

Erie Otters (50-14-2-0) at Plymouth Whalers (27-32-0-7)
When: Today, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Compuware Arena – Plymouth, Mich.
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, (live stream)
Up next: vs. Sarnia (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters moved within three points of first-place Guelph in the race for the OHL’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs with a 3-2 win in Windsor on Friday night. They also are three points ahead of fourth-place London. …
The Otters needs a win and a Guelph loss to Sarnia at home to remain in contention for the top spot overall. … Erie can clinch at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with a win tonight and a London loss to Owen Sound at home. … The Otters have won six straight and seven of their last eight games, including a 6-1 win over Windsor last Friday at Erie Insurance Arena. … They can set the franchise record for points in a season (102 in 2000-01) with one point, as well as set a new franchise mark with their 22nd road win of the season. … RW

Connor Brown

Connor Brown (45 goals, 80 assists, 123 points) can finish among the top three in those three offensive categories, as well as power-play goals (20). … C Connor McDavid (25-70-95) needs five points in the last two games to join Brown and LW Dane Fox (62-41-103) as the only players in franchise history – and potentially the only players in the league this season – to reach 100 points. …. If McDavid reaches 100 points, the Otters would be the first club with three players to top the century mark in the same season since London’s Patrick Kane (145 points), Sergei Kostitsyn (131) and Sam Gagner (118) in the 2006-07 season. … G Oscar Dansk needs one win to

Oscar Dansk

become the second goaltender in franchise history with 30 wins (Ramis Sadikov, 36 in 2010-11). Dansk also has the second-best goals-against average (2.35) in Otters’ history (Adam Munro, 2.31 in 2000-01). … C Kyle Pettit (upper body) skated this week, but he didn’t play Friday in Windsor. … Plymouth has clinched the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and will face Guelph, Erie or London in the first round. … The Otters routed Plymouth 11-2 in their last meeting on March 5. Erie can complete a sweep of the four-game season series with a win.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: February 26th, 2014

* denotes starters



Devin Williams*
Oscar Dansk

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


M. Rupert-Horvat-R. Rupert*

Bell-Austin (former Otter)

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, (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, (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

(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…

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